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A Saudi sponsor for the Women's World Cup? Organizers demand accountability from Fifa


New Zealand and Australia are concerned that Saudi Arabia, much criticized for women's rights, is getting involved in

The news went very badly.

New Zealand and Australia, which will co-host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, on Thursday demanded "urgently" responses from FIFA over reports that the Saudi Arabian Tourist Board Saudi Arabia would sponsor the competition.

Despite the Saudi kingdom's very poor record on women's rights, Visit Saudi is reportedly set to become one of the sponsors of the 32-nation tournament which will take place in the two countries from July 20.

Officials from the Australian and New Zealand Football Federations said they had not been informed of the intended deal and "have jointly written to FIFA to urgently clarify the situation".

“Shocked and disappointed”

In a statement, Football Australia said it was "very disappointed" that it was not "consulted on this matter before the decision was made".

His counterparts in New Zealand said they were "shocked and disappointed" that FIFA had not consulted them.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said he expects two billion viewers to watch the ninth edition of the Women's World Cup.

World football's governing body hopes this will help develop women's football, with the tournament for the first time being shared between two nations.

Read alsoRonaldo in Al-Nassr: how Saudi Arabia will exploit the vein to grow in the world of football

This draft sponsorship contract has drawn strong criticism.

Former Australian international Kathryn Gill said FIFA was "obligated to respect all internationally recognized human rights and to exercise its considerable influence where they are not respected or protected".

"A textbook case of sports bleaching"

"The players' goal is to make the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 a true force for good and they will continue to hold FIFA to account when it undermines it," added Kathryn Gill, Co-Chair. of the Australian Professional Footballers' Union.

Nikita White, Australia campaigner at Amnesty International, wondered how the Saudi tourism body could sponsor a Women's World Cup when "in Saudi Arabia, a woman can't even work without the permission of her male guardian.

A Saudi candidacy for the 2030 Men's World Cup?

She also pointed to Saudi Arabia's "appalling record of human rights abuses".

"The sponsorship of the Women's World Cup by the Saudi authorities would be a textbook case of sports laundering," she said.

After Gulf neighbor Qatar hosted the FIFA Men's World Cup last year, Saudi Arabia is also spending heavily on football to improve its image, such as recruitment at Golden award for Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo by Al-Nassr club.

The country was confirmed as host of the 2027 Asian Cup on Wednesday. It is considering a joint bid with Egypt and Greece to host the 2030 Men's World Cup.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2023-02-02

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