Reports from Australia are suggesting that the rumoured deal involving Saudi Arabia’s tourism arm sponsoring this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup will not now happen.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pagnall said he had received a response to a letter sent a month ago outlining concerns on the part of the co-hosts.

While saying that the letter outlined the importance of treating all member countries equally and stressing the importance of dialogue over exclusion, he felt that it would not now be a full on sponsorship as had been originally reported in The Athletic.

Player reaction, particularly from the United States, as well as from the co-host associations seems to have had an impact and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and FIFA may be more nuanced than a straightforward sponsorship deal with strong talk of their being at least part of a bid to host the 2030 Men’s World Cup Finals.

They questioned whether Saudi Arabia’s record on Women’s rights and same-sex relationships was appropriate as a

The reaction around the world to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup last year was stronger than might have been anticipated, though the tournament went ahead without any huge impact.

The establishment of the Middle East as a viable host, one of the few left, for major sporting tournaments is now a done deal with the kind of budgets they can make available to stage the biggest events.

Talk of the potential hosting of a Winter Olympics in years to come is not as far-fetched as might appear to be the case from a purely meteorological perspective.

FIFA has yet to confirm anything of a potential Saudi partnership for the Women’s World Cup Finals, where the Republic of Ireland will be making its debut appearance.

So far Adidas, Coca Cola and Wanda are on board as sponsors of the tournament from FIFA’s base of Global Partners. Visa, Xero, an Australian accounting software company and Globant, an IT Services company have been named as partners of the tournament.