Football Australia is aiming to prevent controversies around social causes during the build-up to the Qatar World Cup
James Johnson, the CEO of Football Australia, thinks that players competing in the Women’s World Cup should have the freedom to express support for social causes during the tournament. The Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand, following the men’s tournament that will take place in Qatar next year.
James Johnson, the CEO of Football Australia, has stated that players should be allowed to show support for social causes during the Women’s World Cup.
In contrast to the previous men’s tournament in Qatar, which was marred by discussions around human rights issues and a ban on players wearing a OneLove armband to support LGBTQ+ rights, Football Australia is working with FIFA to prevent such issues from arising and is anticipating that players will express their support for various causes. The Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Football Australia aware of LGBTQI+ issues
“What you’ll see from the Matildas is not just great performances on the pitch. but they’re going to make some points off it as well,” he told Sky Sports.
“We are working with FIFA [and] we’ll make sure we bake into the competition regulations some exceptions to the rules, so the players can express themselves in a free way.
“Once that’s agreed, the players can express themselves on certain issues, especially LGBTQI issues, which are on the tip of the Matildas’ tongue.
“Then they can get back to football and do their work on the pitch.
“It could be an armband, it could be an indigenous flag. We haven’t got into the specifics. We’re optimistic we’ll land in a place we’re happy with and the players are happy with as well.”
High-profile players criticized FIFA and Visit Saudi’s talks regarding sponsorship of the Women’s World Cup finals.
“We weren’t happy with how it played out,” Johnson added. “We weren’t happy with what we thought the outcome was going to be either.
“That’s not just us [Football Australia], it’s the government, and we also spoke to the players. In our view, it didn’t align with the vision of the tournament.
“We took a principled stand. It wasn’t popular with everyone, but that’s what leaders have to do sometimes. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to our players to try to understand what’s important to them.
“The Matildas support a lot of social issues, and we need to back our players. When we have to push issues with FIFA, we do that for our players.”