FIFA president Gianni Infantino slams Australia over Saudi World Cup deal that infuriated Matildas
FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino ROASTS Australia for its ‘double standards’ over controversial Saudi World Cup deal that left Matildas players furious
- FIFA boss called out Australia for ‘double standards’
- Followed concern over proposed deal with Visit Saudi
- Saudi Arabia’s poor record on women’s rights angers Matildas
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has called out Australia for its ‘double standards’ surrounding the proposed deal with the tourism arm of the Saudi Arabian government ahead of the Women’s World Cup later this year.
The global football supremo confirmed the Visit Saudi contract won’t go ahead – and then referenced Australia’s reported $2billion export trade with the Middle East nation.
‘There were discussions with Visit Saudi but, in the end, these did not lead to a contract,’ Infantino said at FIFA’s Congress in Kigali on Thursday.
‘So it was a storm in a teacup.
‘There is also a double standard here which I really don’t understand.
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has called out Australia for its ‘double standards’ surrounding the proposed deal with the Saudi Arabian government ahead of the Women’s World Cup
A number of Matildas players were furious a Visit Saudi contract was being considered given the Gulf nation’s shocking women’s rights record (pictured, superstar Sam Kerr)
‘Australian companies export trade to Saudi Arabia worth $2.25billion each year and this doesn’t seem to be a problem or an issue.’
It follows government and World Cup organisers in both host nations – Australia and New Zealand – questioning if a proposed deal with Visit Saudi would be appropriate for the women’s tournament, especially given the Gulf nation’s shocking record on women’s rights.
In February, furious Matildas players were said to be looking at staging a protest if the Visit Saudi deal was signed off.
Meanwhile, FIFA also confirmed they will be increasing prizemoney for the upcoming women’s tournament by more than 300 per cent, bringing the total pot to $229million for the 32 competing nations.
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson and Football New Zealand both released statements on Friday morning welcoming the development.
‘Equality, diversity and inclusion are really deep commitments for Football Australia, and we will continue to work hard with FIFA to ensure the Women’s World Cup is shaped in this light,’ Johnson said.
FIFA also confirmed they will be increasing prizemoney for the upcoming Women’s World Cup by more than 300 per cent, bringing the total pot to $229million for the 32 competing nations
‘It is a historic event for our nation, showcasing the world’s greatest female players and advancing the game globally.’
In contrast, the men’s World Cup in Qatar last year had a total prize pool of close to $1billion.
Infantino added that FIFA intends to equalise prizemoney ahead of the next World Cups in 2026 (men) and 2027 (women).