September 25, 2023

United States forward Alex Morgan says it would be “bizarre” for the Women’s World Cup to have a major sponsor from Saudi Arabia.

A possible move to see this year’s FIFA tournament in Australia and New Zealand sponsored in part by the tourism authority Visit Saudi has been revealed in recent weeks.

The move has generated significant backlash from both host countries, with a focus on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, particularly in regard to women and LGBTQ people.

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Morgan, a two-time World Cup winner with the USWNT, feels any partnership between the sport’s governing body and Saudi Arabia would send a poor message to the tournament’s players.

“I think it’s bizarre that FIFA has looked to have a Visit Saudi sponsorship for the Women’s World Cup,” Morgan said.

“I, myself, Alex Morgan, would not even be supported and accepted in that country, so I just don’t understand it.

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“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. Pretty much everyone has spoken out against the proposed sponsorship because morally it just doesn’t make sense.”

The United States step up its preparation for the World Cup this month with the SheBelieves Cup, as they prepare to face Canada, Brazil, and Japan.

They will start their title defence against Vietnam at Auckland’s Eden Park on July 22, 2023.

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