US star Alex Morgan urges FIFA to do 'right thing' over possible Visit Saudi sponsorship for Women's World Cup
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United States star Alex Morgan has candidly spoken out against Saudi Arabia’s tourist authority potentially becoming a sponsor for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
According to The Guardian, Visit Saudi could be announced as a brand sponsor for the Women’s World Cup alongside the likes of Adidas, Visa and Coca-Cola.
The newspaper added last month that the World Cup organisers would confirm the Visit Saudi deal, but an official announcement from FIFA has not been made.
Australia and New Zealand, which will host the upcoming Women’s World Cup, have since called for FIFA to “urgently clarify” the reports on a deal.
“Football Australia understands FIFA has entered into a destination partnership agreement in respect to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023,” Football Australia said in a statement.
“We are very disappointed that Football Australia were not consulted on this matter prior to any decision being made. Football Australia and New Zealand Football have jointly written to FIFA to urgently clarify the situation.”
New Zealand Football also added: “If these reports prove correct, we are shocked and disappointed to hear this as New Zealand Football haven’t been consulted by FIFA at all on this matter.”
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly been accused of sportswashing and criticised for their human rights abuses, including those placed on women in the country.
🗣️ "Morally it just doesn't make sense"— Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) February 9, 2023
Two-time World Cup winner Alex Morgan criticises FIFA’s potential sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabia ahead of the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.pic.twitter.com/tlosLZqe8i
Speaking ahead of the SheBelieves Cup in the USA, Morgan admitted that she is hopeful of FIFA doing the “right thing” on the matter.
The 33-year-old San Diego Wave striker, who lifted two Women’s World Cups with her country, also urged Saudi Arabia to do more for their women’s team.
“I think it’s bizarre that FIFA has looked to have a Visit Saudi sponsorship for the Women’s World Cup when I, myself, Alex Morgan, would not even be supported and accepted in that country, so I just don’t understand it,” Morgan said.
“I think that what Saudi Arabia can do is put efforts into their women’s team that was just formed only a couple of years ago and doesn’t even have a current ranking within the FIFA ranking system because of the few games that they’ve played.
“So that would be my advice to them. And I really hope that FIFA does the right thing. Morally, it just doesn’t make sense.”
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Topics: Womens World Cup, FIFA, Alex Morgan, United States, Football