Women’s World Cup hosts Australia and New Zealand slams FIFA over potential Saudi sponsorship

FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosts Australia and New Zealand are reportedly very disappointed over’s the footballing body’s decision to offer a potential sponsorship to Visit Saudi due to concerns about restrictions on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

“We cannot express strongly enough the potential repercussions and fallout that could result of his decision,” the Australian and New Zealand FAs wrote to FIFA, as per Sky News.

“Australis and New Zealand, both as sovereign nations and as football associations, have for decades placed the utmost importance on gender equality, and have sought to promote these ideals around the world,” they added.

Football Australia said it “understands FIFA has entered into a destination partnership agreement” for the tournament, adding, “We are very disappointed that Football Australia were not consulted on this matter prior to any decision being made.”

New Zealand Football said, “We are shocked and disappointed” to hear the reports about the sponsorship.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia added to its influence in world football on Wednesday, winning a seat on the FIFA Council and then being confirmed as host of the 2027 Asian Cup.

The election win at the Asian Football Confederation’s annual meeting followed Cristiano Ronaldo arrival last month to play in the Saudi league and longstanding speculation about a likely bid to host the World Cup in 2030 or 2034.

Saudi soccer federation president Yasser Almisehal was among six Asian soccer officials elected by AFC members to represent them on FIFA’s decision-making committee through 2027. Saudi Arabia was the only candidate to host the Asian championship.

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