Co-hosts New Zealand and Australia on Friday welcomed FIFA's announcement that Saudi Arabia's tourism board will not sponsor this year's Women's World Cup.
The two countries had protested when reports emerged last month that Visit Saudi Arabia would be among the sponsors of the 32-team tournament hosted by New Zealand and Australia from July 20.
The Australian and New Zealand soccer authorities wrote a joint letter to FIFA saying they were "shocked" not to have been consulted given the Gulf nation's poor record on women's rights.
But, speaking at a congress in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Thursday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said talks with Visit Saudi "did not lead to a contract".
Infantino also accused Australia of employing a "double standard" by opposing the sponsorship while maintaining trade links with Saudi Arabia.
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said Friday that the body welcomed the "clarification from FIFA regarding Visit Saudi".
Equality, diversity and inclusion were "deep commitments" for Football Australia, he said in a statement on its website.
"We'll continue to work hard with FIFA to ensure the Women's World Cup is shaped in this light," Johnson added.
New Zealand Football also hailed FIFA's confirmation. "We believe it is critical for all commercial partnerships to align with the vision and values of the tournaments they are involved in," it said in a statement.© 2023 AFP
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This fella would take up a role of an international ambassador for the Taliban if they paid him enough.
A good judgment.
Sponsorship by the VSA would have been so ironic to all the women worldwide who will be watching... "visit the Kingdom, but please bring an abaya and a male relative to escort you and drive you." (Yes, I have visited the Kingdom more than once and seen a female relative of mine switched by the religious police because they thought they saw her ankle, and the next day I saw a foreign woman pedestrian hit by a car driven by some careless men who laughed about it, and the police told her it was her fault for even being in the Kingdom. Not the kind of place that would appeal to a female television audience.)