Co-hosts New Zealand and Australia have slammed Saudi Arabia's potential sponsorship of this year's Women's World Cup.
One was "shocked and disappointed" about such plans of the world association FIFA "not to have been informed," said a statement from Wellington.
According to a report by the portal "The Athletic", the Saudi tourism organization "Visit Saudi" is to become a partner of the tournament from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's German team will play there in the preliminary round against Morocco, Colombia and South Korea.
“From the Sportswashing Textbook”
The Australian association also complained that it had not been informed of such plans.
You will write to FIFA immediately to clarify the situation.
Saudi Arabia is generally criticized internationally for human rights violations, also because of the severely restricted women's rights.
The kingdom wants to host the men's World Cup in 2030 and is therefore pushing ahead with sports policy efforts.
The fact that "Visit Saudi" is apparently on the World Cup sponsor list is an action "from the textbook for sports washing", explained Nikita White of Amnesty International Australia.
It should be noted that "in Saudi Arabia, a woman is not even allowed to pursue a profession without the permission of a male 'protector'."
The oil state had just been awarded the bid to host the 2027 Asian Championship for men on Wednesday.
There are already plans to bid for the 2030 World Cup along with Egypt and Greece.