Adriana Lima as Women’s WCup ambassador raises questions

Geneva –

FIFA’s selection of Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima as its first global fan ambassador five months before the Women’s World Cup was called “on deaf ears” by the football body’s former leader of the women’s football task force on Tuesday. was evaluated.

“To develop, promote and participate in several global initiatives,” Lima’s appointment comes Monday before the former Victoria’s Secret runway model presents the fan award at the annual awards ceremony in Paris. Announced by FIFA.

“Seriously, FIFA, is this the fan engagement ambassador we need as (the Women’s World Cup) approaches?” I’m here. on her twitter account.

Dodd, a former FIFA Executive Committee member and longtime supporter of women’s football, used the hashtag “tonedeaf” and shared a compelling photo from her profile on Lima’s Twitter account, which has 2.4 million followers. posted.

Dodd, a former Australian national team player, also recalled recent speculation that FIFA may sign the Saudi Tourism Board as an official sponsor of the month-long tournament starting on 20 July.

“Honestly, I’m baffled by the marketing strategy. The first FIFA wants to send LGBTQ-friendly audiences to ‘Visit Saudi Arabia,'” Dodd wrote. “Who exactly is it targeting now?”

Lima was pictured with president Gianni Infantino at the FIFA Gala event in Paris on Monday and posted on Twitter that her new role “means the world to me.”

She also posted to her 15.4 million followers, “I am so honored to be part of the FIFA family.”

“As a fan myself, I want to connect this family to the life of this beautiful sport – the fans on a bigger level!” she wrote.

FIFA did not provide details on the project Lima would be involved in on Monday or whether it would involve the largest marquee women’s tournament in history, currently featuring 32 teams.

“When you meet Adriana, you immediately feel her warmth, her kindness, her friendliness and passion for our game,” Infantino said in a statement from FIFA on Monday.

“She lives and breathes ‘Futebol’, which is why she can be a great bridge between FIFA and fans around the world,” he said.

FIFA said Lima was a “supermodel, actress and businesswoman” but did not give any details about her relationship with the sport other than being a fan. expressed condolences.

Infantino and Dodd have served together on FIFA’s steering committee for over a year since their election in 2016.

She became the first woman to represent the Asian Football Federation in FIFA in 2013, gaining a reputation as an independent voice during Sepp Blatter’s presidency. Dodd sought her re-election four years after her, losing to an opponent from Bangladesh.

Her latest criticism of FIFA follows an op-ed she wrote for an Australian newspaper four weeks ago. She suggested that FIFA’s request for LGBTQ players and fans to visit Saudi Arabia “is sending them to a jurisdiction where they are considered criminals.”

Dodd also wrote that she was “excited by the progress women’s football has made (in Saudi Arabia) recently.”

A pending “Visit Saudi” sponsorship deal has also irritated the Australian and New Zealand football federations, prompting FIFA not to sign the deal.

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