Former Decision-maker Moya Dodd Questions FIFA Over Saudi Arabia Tourism Deal


Last Updated: February 04, 2023, 14:43 IST

King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah (Reuters)

King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah (Reuters)

Moya Dodd has questioned the prospect of a business tie-up between the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Saudi Arabia the place homosexual intercourse is a legal offence

Ex-Australia worldwide and former FIFA Council member Moya Dodd has accused soccer’s governing physique of a lack of information of the ladies’s sport amid reviews Saudi Arabia’s tourism authority will sponsor the Women’s World Cup.

Australia and New Zealand, co-hosts of this 12 months’s event, wrote to FIFA on Wednesday searching for pressing clarification after the Guardian reported Visit Saudi will likely be named as a serious sponsor of the occasion.

Writing within the Sydney Morning Herald, Dodd, one of many first girls to serve on FIFA’s decision-making physique, questioned the prospect of a business tie-up between the event and a rustic the place homosexual intercourse is a legal offence.

“There will likely be many LGBTQ+ gamers and followers on the Women’s World Cup for whom soccer is a spot the place they’ll specific themselves,” Dodd, who played 24 times for Australia and who served on the FIFA Council from 2013 to 2016, wrote.

“If any of these followers are watching from Saudi Arabia, they are going to be residing with grave dangers.

“For FIFA to tell LGBTQ players and fans they should ‘Visit Saudi’ is to send them to a jurisdiction where they are regarded as criminals.

“FIFA would be selling them into persecution. It’s hard to imagine a greater mismatch for the unique and valuable audience the women’s game has accrued.”

FIFA and Visit Saudi have declined to touch upon sponsorship of the World Cup, which will likely be held from July 20 to Aug. 20.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched reforms permitting girls higher management over their lives in recent times however males nonetheless retain a good grip on energy within the kingdom.

The Gulf state was named host nation of the 2027 Asian Cup on Wednesday and in addition has ambitions of internet hosting the World Cup in 2030 in addition to the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026.

Dodd wrote that, whereas she supported efforts to encourage the event of the ladies’s sport in Saudi Arabia, FIFA wanted to point out higher understanding of the feminine soccer group.

“I’m thrilled by the progress girls’s soccer has made (in Saudi Arabia) in current instances,” she wrote.

“As a symbol of progress, it doesn’t get much more powerful than allowing women and girls to play the most popular sport in a football-mad nation.

“If FIFA is seriously proposing to these fans and players that they should ‘Visit Saudi’, then they profoundly misunderstand either their own community, or the laws in Saudi Arabia.”

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