FIFA drops plan for Saudi agency to sponsor Women’s World Cup


FIFA has. The plan to have a Saudi Arabian tourism agency was scrapped. Gianni Infantino, president of the football body, said to sponsor the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The proposal sparked backlash from prominent football players and fans, as well as sports organizations in Australia and New Zealand, which are hosting the tournament. Critics, including US soccer star Megan Rapinoe, said it was inappropriate for a competition that used feminist-branded marketing – and which Counts gay and bisexual women. Among its top stars – to be sponsored by a government which Outlaws homosexuality., Limits the rights of women. And Treats dissenters. Hardly

Infantino told a news conference at the FIFA meeting in Rwanda on Thursday that an agreement had been discussed with the Visit Saudi agency but no deal had been reached. He did not attribute the Saudi visit’s absence to ethical concerns, and said he would still seek future trade deals with the Gulf nation.

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“FIFA consists of 211 countries,” he said, adding that “there is nothing wrong” with being sponsored by members like Saudi Arabia, China, the United States of America, Brazil or India.

Football officials from the host countries have welcomed the news that Saudi Arabia will not be sponsoring the tournament, which runs from July 20 to August 20. “There are equality, diversity and inclusion. A really deep commitment to Football Australia,Chief executive James Johnson said. “We will continue to work hard with FIFA to ensure that the Women’s World Cup is organized in that light.”

FIFA and Visit Saudi did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The dispute is the latest example of human rights debates in football fields and stadiums around the world. FIFA has been criticized for awarding the hosting rights to last year’s men’s World Cup despite poor working conditions for migrant workers in the country. There were also fans. LGBTQ themed gear is prohibited. in the tournament. (Some argued that public scrutiny Encouraged Qatar to reform. its labor laws.).

Justin Nolan, director Australian Human Rights Institute at the University of New South Wales, said the proposed Saudi tour deal was part of a wider trend of “sports laundering”, when governments and corporate bodies use athletic sponsorships to repair their public images.

He suggested examples include Saudi Arabia hosting Formula 1 races, as well as Australia’s World Tour cycling team. The name was changed to reflect funding from the Saudi government..

He said that while international sporting events are a powerful force for solidarity around the world, sports organizations risk losing legitimacy if they allow their events to be used to cover up human rights abuses. Is. “The game should not be hijacked for this purpose.”

Analysis: The political debate is swirling around the World Cup in Qatar.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has sought to liberalize parts of its legal system, including Abolition of ban on women Driving in many public places and eliminating gender segregation. (Recently, Kingdom Many activists working for women’s rights were imprisoned. (who called for the lifting of driving bans).

The social changes were driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, US intelligence said. is responsible for the 2018 murders. of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an opinion columnist for The Washington Post. A woman was convicted last year. 34 years in prison For tweets that were critical of the government.

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