Saudi Arabia’s tourism body will not sponsor the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Saudi Arabia's tourism body will not sponsor this year's FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
saudi arabia tourism fifa

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has confirmed ‘Visit Saudi‘, Saudi Arabia’s tourism body, will not sponsor this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The potential sponsorship had drawn criticism from governing bodies and players in both host countries because of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Infantino called the criticism a “storm in a teacup” but confirmed the sponsorship would not proceed.


The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand this July.

In January, media reports suggested tourism body Visit Saudi would sponsor the FIFA Women’s World Cup. This drew criticism due to Saudi Arabia’s longstanding restrictions on the rights of women and the LGBTQI+ community.

Several high-profile footballers spoke out against the decision, and the governments and football administrative bodies of both Australia and New Zealand voiced their concerns.

Saudi sponsorship

In a press conference this week, Infantino confirmed there had been “discussions” with Visit Saudi but said they did not lead to a contract.

However, he defended the idea and said he wanted to involve Saudi sponsors in women’s football in future.

“FIFA is an organisation of 211 countries… for us they are all the same,” he said.

He criticised Australia for objecting to the move even though Australian companies did business with Saudi companies.

“There is a double standard here which I really don’t understand.”


Football Australia released a statement this morning welcoming the clarification.

“Equality, diversity and inclusion are really deep commitments for Football Australia, and we’ll continue to work hard with FIFA to ensure the Women’s World Cup is shaped in this light”.

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