According to a report by the portal “The Athletic”, “Visit Saudi” will be a partner of the tournament from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.
“If this report proves accurate then we will be shocked and disappointed to hear it,” the New Zealand FA said in a statement. FIFA had not consulted on this. According to the report, both associations have sent a letter of protest to FIFA.
Saudi Arabia is generally criticized internationally for human rights violations. The Kingdom wants to host the men’s World Cup in 2030 and is therefore active in sports politics in several ways. As far as women’s rights are concerned, the country lags behind widely accepted standards, which apply not only in the West – which, in the case of sponsorship of one of the world’s most important women’s sporting events, would probably appear disconcerting.
Austria failed to qualify for the World Cup finals.