United States women’s national team superstar Alex Morgan feels it would be strange for Saudi Arabia’s tourism authority to be a sponsor at the 2023 Women’s World Cup after highlighting the Middle Eastern nation’s restrictions on women’s rights.
“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,” the 33-year-old said, according to Anne M. Peterson of The Associated Press.
“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.”
FIFA has yet to issue a statement since reports over a possible sponsorship campaign for “Visit Saudi” surfaced last week.
Australia and New Zealand, co-hosts for this summer’s Women’s World Cup, condemned FIFA’s potential agreement earlier last week due to Saudi Arabia’s controversial human rights record. Saudi Arabia is regarded as one of the least tolerant countries in relation to the rights of women and the LGBTQ community.
“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,” reads a statement from the New Zealand Football Association, according to Reuters.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup runs from July 20 to Aug. 20.
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