No, the money is not worth all the concessions.
Fifa's decision to bring one of the countries with the worst women's rights records into the Women's World Cup partners does not sit well with New Zealand and Australia, who will co-host the competition next week. next summer.
"Visit Saudi", which represents the tourist office of Saudi Arabia, would indeed be about to be named among the sponsors of the tournament.
Officials from the Australian and New Zealand FAs 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 the International Federation had not consulted them.
Beyond the governing bodies, this draft sponsorship contract has aroused strong criticism: the former Australian international Kathryn Gill thus affirmed that Fifa was "obligated to respect all internationally recognized human rights and to exercise its considerable influence when they are not respected or protected".
"The goal of the players is to make the World Cup a true force for good and they will continue to hold Fifa to account when they undermine it," she added as 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 competition "when in Saudi Arabia a woman can't even work without permission of her male guardian.
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 Men's World Cup last year, Saudi Arabia is also spending heavily on football to improve its image, such as high-priced recruitment. gold of the Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo by the club of Al-Nassr.
The country was confirmed as host of the 2027 Asian Cup on Wednesday and is considering a joint bid with Egypt and Greece to host the 2030 Men's World Cup.
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Women's World Cup