What, the Taliban wasn’t available?
FIFA might be lacking a moral compass and any sense of shame, but its partnership with Visit Saudi for the women’s World Cup this summer, reported earlier this week by The Athletic, shows it still has plenty of spite.
You want an expanded tournament and more funding so the women’s game can grow and develop? Fine. But we’ll do it using a fat check from a country that still considers women second-class citizens, at best, and abuses those who have the audacity to ask for equality.
Criminalizes homosexuality and turns a blind eye to violence against gays, lesbians and transgender people, too.
“My questions wouldn’t be directed at Saudi Arabia. My questions would be directed at the highly questionable judgment and scruples of (FIFA),” Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, told USA TODAY Sports. “This is an ethical choice people in every walk of life make every day: `Who do you sell yourself to and how much do you sell yourself for?’ ”
With FIFA, it’s clear those answers are to anyone interested and for as much as it can get. It cares nothing about cheapening what’s left of its reputation so long as the price is right.
But in doing this deal, FIFA is also showing how little it thinks of the women’s game and those who play it, and how badly it…