Australia and New Zealand are angry about the partnership with Saudi Arabia

Australia and New Zealand are angry about the partnership with Saudi Arabia

The revelation of the soon-to-be official partnership between FIFA and Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Women’s World Cup shocked Australia and New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand demand an explanation from FIFA. The host countries of the 2023 Women’s World Cup (July 20-August 20) are unhappy because they learned in the press that Saudi Arabia will sponsor the competition. According to many British mediaThe kingdom, where women’s rights are restricted, has struck a deal for its official tourism brand, Visit Saudi.

FA said it was “very disappointed not to have been consulted” by FIFA. In cooperation with the New Zealand Federation, a letter was sent to the international body to “clarify” the situation.

“Another example of FIFA’s hypocrisy”

This partnership, which has not yet become official, scandalizes human rights associations. “It shows appalling disregard for the suffering and continued repression of brave women’s rights defenders in Saudi Arabia,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement, quoting one of its leaders. Watchman. It should be noted that in 2018, women and girls in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to play sports in schools, or even watch sports in stadiums.”

Same horror from Amnesty International: “It would be ironic for the Saudi Tourism Authority to sponsor the world’s largest celebration of women’s sports when you know that women in Saudi Arabia can’t even get a job without the permission of a male guardian.”

“This is another example of the hypocrisy of FIFA and world football when it comes to comparing their stated values ​​and where the money comes from. On the one hand, they have a policy that advocates respect for women’s rights and the rights of LGBT people, among others, and on the other hand, they do not hesitate to Accepting large amounts of sponsorship from an organization representing a nation that neither shares these values ​​nor respects these rights,” adds Bonita Mercias, Women in Football President. Australia.

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The kingdom develops women’s football

In the wealthy Gulf monarchy that follows a strict application of Islamic law, women’s rights are not equal to those of men and feminists are repressed. But thanks to the new official rhetoric of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the share of Saudi women in the workforce has doubled since 2016, from 17% to 37%.

In terms of sports, the Saudi women’s team played its first official match in February 2022, and the women’s football championship has been organized since November 2021. In addition, the Kingdom is lining up to organize the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup.

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