April 12 – FIFA sponsor Visa has unveiled the names of 33 women players who it will sponsor via its Team Visa programme up to and through the Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.
Visa is the Exclusive Payment Service Partner of FIFA, and has run its Team Visa programme since 2000. To date Visa has provided support to more than 500 athletes worldwide.
The programme is designed to help players “thrive personally and professionally”. As well as sponsorship money, Visa provides support for players’ “philanthropic endeavors, financial literacy tools, and mental health and wellness resources”.
“Team Visa athletes are selected for the program based on their personal journeys, athletic achievements, community involvement, and alignment with Visa’s core values of equality, access, and inclusion.”
Catarina Macario, a US women’s team midfielder and one of the players selected by Visa, said: “While we might go head-to-head on the pitch, we are all working together on the goal of a better future for women’s football and Visa is supporting us every step of the way.”
Visa said the new group of players represents the largest number of women footballers to date in Team Visa’s programme.
“We’ve witnessed historic shifts for equity and equality in football in recent years, and Visa is committed to providing these resilient women with the tools and resources necessary to continue working for a level playing field,” said Andrea Fairchild, senior vice president and head of sponsorships, Visa.
Visa said its 15-year investment in women’s football “has focused on increasing visibility for the sport at all levels, driving acceptance, and future-proofing the game.”
As well as FIFA’s first Women’s Football Partner, the company was also the first partner for UEFA Women’s Football, and sponsors the US and Mexican national teams. In Europe the ‘Second Half’ is a career development programme to support players as they consider careers beyond football.
Full list of Team Visa women footballers: Miriam Mayorga (Argentina), Ellie Carpenter (Australia), Debinha (Brazil), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Ashley Lawrence (Canada), Haiyan Wu (China), Wang ShanShan (China), Daniela Montoya (Colombia), Shirley Cruz (Costa Rica), Katerina Svitkova (Czech Republic), Eugenie Le Sommer (France), Lea Schüller (Germany), Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir (Iceland), Laura Giuliani (Italy), Mana Iwabuchi (Japan), Fatima Tagnaout (Morocco), Ghizlane Chebbak (Morocco), Claudia Bunge (New Zealand), Inna Palacios (Philippines), Marta Cox (Panama) Ewa Pajor (Poland), Megan Campbell (Republic of Ireland), Camelia Ceasar (Romania), Cho So-hyun (South Korea), Kosovare Asllani (Sweden), Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland), Didem Karagenc (Turkey), Huynh Nhu (Vietnam), Fran Kirby (England), Lauren James (England), Catarina Macario (United States of America), Mallory Swanson (United States of America) and Sam Mewis (United States of America).
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