FIFA ripped to shreds for choosing lingerie model Adriana Lima as Women's World Cup ambassador
- FIFA chose Lima as an ambassador for WWC
- Players question her appointment
- Infantino defends the selection of Lima
WHAT HAPPENED? FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said that the appointment of former Victoria’s Secret model Lima will help build an "excellent link" between the sporting body and fans worldwide. The model, who was present at the FIFA The Best awards in Paris this week, claims to be an avid football fan but seems to have had no prior connection to the sport. Moya Dodd, one-time vice-captain of the Australian women’s team, has been among the former players and gender equality campaigners to question the appointment. Dodd has said Lima starved herself for nine days before fashion shows and highlighted that she called abortion "a crime" in a 2006 interview with GQ magazine, while describing FIFA's decision to bring her on board as "tone deaf" on social media.
WHAT THEY SAID: “What will this ambassador represent to the large and growing population of aspirational women football players and fans who love the game because it shows us what empowerment and equality can look like?” Dodd asked.
"Because when a girl plays football, the world sees her differently. Instead of being complimented on her nice looks or her pretty dress, she is valued for her game-saving tackles and brilliant goal-scoring. She’s admired for what she can do, rather than how she looks, putting her on a more equal footing with her brothers in a way that can alter the whole trajectory of her life’s ambitions."
Women Sport Australia president Gen Dohrmann has echoed Dodd's sentiments and questioned why legends like Megan Rapinoe or Sam Kerr were ignored for the role. “It’s definitely a different approach to the men’s game," she said. "You would see Cristiano Ronaldo as the poster boy of the men’s World Cup, so why do we need a supermodel when we could choose Meg Rapinoe, or Sam Kerr, or someone who has international accolades in the sport we are actually promoting? That is the type of role model that should be at the front of this campaign."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, Infantino, has defended Lima's induction, hailing her as a passionate football fan. "When you get to meet Adriana, you feel right away her warmth, kindness, and how approachable and passionate she is about our game. She lives and breathes ‘futebol’ and that is also why she can be an excellent link between FIFA and fans worldwide," Infantino said in a statement.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
Seriously, #FIFA, is this the fan engagement ambassador we need as the @FIFAWWC approaches? #tonedeaf https://t.co/a7O2WHRr6g pic.twitter.com/s2S6wvJmFx— moya dodd (@moyadodd) February 28, 2023
WHAT NEXT? The Women's World Cup is slated to start on July 20 in Australia and New Zealand.