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FIFA fires back after being called out by fans for new Women's World Cup mascot

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

FIFA fires back after being called out by fans for new Women's World Cup mascot

FIFA has fired back after fans rinsed them over their unveiling of the official mascot for the Women’s World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. 

The football governing body announced ‘Tazuni’, a football-mad penguin would be the official mascot for the tournament on Wednesday (October 19).

The name was inspired by the Tasman Sea that separates the two nations, whilst the penguin was chosen as it is ‘endemic to the two countries' coastlines to symbolise the unity between the co-hosts’.


The specific species is the Eudyptula penguin - or little penguin which they are affectionately known as.

However, AAP journalist Ben McKay claimed to have uncovered that the specific species didn’t actually habitat any part of Australia, making the ‘unity’ between the two nations invalid. 

He tweeted: “um… FIFA have chosen a NEW ZEALAND PENGUIN that is NOT FOUND IN AUSTRALIA as the #FIFAWWC mascot.”

And unsurprisingly, people online had a field day.


One fan wrote: “If FIFA wanted a mascot that 100 per cent of people can get behind, they should just have used fatso. The Battler’s Prince speaks for one and all.”

Whilst another fan pointed out that New Zealand getting to claim the mascot as their own is a pretty fair trade.

They commented: “We get the most games, the easier travel schedule and the final; they get the draw, the opening game and the penguin.”


Another made the fair assumption that even if Tazuni was just from New Zealand, Australia would claim it as their own anyway.

They wrote: “It doesn't really matter. If the NZ penguin is any good, Australia will claim it as their own anyway.

“Phar Lap, Lamingtons, Pavlovas, ANZAC Biscuits, Flat Whites, Split Enz, Russell Crowe and now Eudyptula Minor Penguin. All Australian.”

However, FIFA were quick to point out that they did in fact do their research, claiming that the Little Penguins inhabited Phillip Island found south of Melbourne.


With a bit of tongue-in-cheek, they tweeted: “Thanks for all the [love] received today as I’m announced Official Mascot of the #FIFAWWC! I’m the new kid on the block, but have no double that I call both Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand my home!”

The tweet was accompanied by an information page about the species confirming they were native to both countries.

Ben McKay later tweeted: “APOLOGY to Tazuni and FIFA…”


Adding: “I cannot stand by the claim and will delete it. The integrity of my tweets is important to me. I also care about women’s football and don’t want this to cast doubt on Tazuni’s allegiances.”

So for now, Tazuni is cool with both Australia and New Zealand.

Featured Image Credit: @FIFAWWC/Twitter.

Topics: FIFA, Womens Football, Womens World Cup, Australia, New Zealand

Jayden Collins
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