Women’s World Cup stars set example by speaking out against latest FIFA misstep

ANDY DUNN COLUMN: FIFA has named Visit Saudi as one of the sponsors of the upcoming Women’s World Cup, but the players are holding their own by fighting back against the governing body

FIFA President Gianni Infantino attends the funeral service of Brazilian soccer legend Pele at the Urbano Caldeira stadium in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, January 2, 2023 Public wake at the stadium of his longtime team Santos. (Photo by MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP) (Photo by MIGUEL SCHINCARIOL/AFP via Getty Images)

At least the top players heading to the Women’s World Cup have a few balls.

Remember when the top men’s footballers said they would not remain silent when it came to raising fundamental human rights concerns at Qatar 2022? FIFA then issued some vague yellow-card threats and the colorful armbands – hardly the boldest gesture of defiance to begin with – were dropped in no time at all.

Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President, was ridiculed ahead of last year’s World Cup when he basically said national associations should “stick to football”. But that’s exactly what they did. Luckily, it seems like high-profile female soccer players aren’t going to be so forgiving.

It has been widely reported but not yet confirmed that tourism authority Visit Saudi will be one of FIFA’s commercial partners for the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand later this year.

Sports governing bodies in those countries have already expressed their anger at the prospect and now two-time world champion Alex Morgan has given FIFA both barrels.

“Morally it just doesn’t make sense,” said Morgan, who has scored 120 goals for the United States. “It is bizarre that FIFA tried to have a Visit Saudi sponsorship for the Women’s World Cup when myself, Alex Morgan, would not even be supported and accepted in this country.”

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WILL YOU PARTICIPATE! Should FIFA drop Visit Saudi as a sponsor of the Women’s World Cup? Comment below.

US star Alex Morgan has criticized FIFA for winning Visit Saudi to sponsor the World Cup(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

When the world’s best players openly express their disgust, it will be interesting to see what FIFA does. But Infantino and FIFA are so enslaved by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and their limitless funds that it’s hard to imagine them taking any conciliatory action.


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