FIFA confirms Visit Saudi will not sponsor Women's World Cup after criticism over country's human rights record

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has confirmed that Saudi Arabia's government tourism agency will not now be a Women's World Cup sponsor.

Sky News revealed last week that FIFA was exploring dropping Visit Saudi as a sponsor after a backlash by players and co-hosts Australia and New Zealand over Saudi Arabia's human rights issues.

Mr Infantino said after the FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda: "Of course there were discussions with Visit Saudi and so on. At the end, these discussions didn't lead to a contract."

It was FIFA's first public comment more than six weeks after Australia and New Zealand wrote to the governing body protesting against reports of a sponsorship deal.

Mr Infantino questioned why Australia's government and businesses have trade deals with Saudi Arabia but the Women's World Cup cannot be sponsored by the kingdom.

He said: "There is a double standard here which I don't really understand."

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Australia's football federation is separate from the government and FIFA statutes prohibit government interference in football matters.

Football Federation Australia CEO James Johnson had said "we would not be comfortable" with Visit Saudi as a sponsor.

Players also urged FIFA to not allow their tournament to have sponsorship from a country which criminalises same-sex relations and where women are yet to gain full equal rights.

But Mr Infantino insisted "there wouldn't be anything bad in having sponsorships from Saudi Arabia".

He added: "We want to see how we can involve Saudi sponsors in women's football generally."