Adriana Lima poses for a photo on the Green Carpet ahead of The Best FIFA Football Awards 2022 on February 27, 2023 in Paris, France.

FIFA came under fire earlier this week for its appointment of Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima as its global fan ambassador. The soccer world’s governing body said Lima’s role will be to develop, promote and participate in several initiatives involving fans from all over the world in a news release. “When you get to meet Adriana, you feel right away her warmth, kindness, and how approachable and passionate she is about our game,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said. “She lives and breathes ‘futebol.’ That is also why she can be an excellent link between FIFA and fans worldwide.”

The former Victoria’s Secret model shared the news on Twitter. “Coming from a more than modest background and being a football fan, I am very thankful and honoured to have been chosen by FIFA to be the first Global Fan Ambassador and to be given such a platform to help fans get even closer to the game.”

Many soccer fans were displeased with FIFA’s decision to appoint Lima. Moya Dodd, a former Australian soccer star who played in FIFA’s first women’s world tournament. Dodd blasted the organization on Twitter, calling the move “tone-deaf” and was left “baffled” by FIFA’s marketing strategy. She then called out Lima’s toxicity for being a role model to “empower girls and women.” But after doing “a quick Wikicheck,” found out that the model was “known for crash-diet eating & drinking, and for believing that abortion is a crime. Losing 8 pounds (that’s about 3.5 kilos) in 9 days doesn’t sound at all safe; nor is it consistent with a healthy ‘athlete’s mind’ which she references. I asked whether the FIFA ambassador will be delivering messages on body image, wellbeing and healthy eating; or on a woman’s right to choose?”

“Because when a girl plays football, the world sees her differently,” Dodd added. “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.”

Other folks on Twitter who shared the same thoughts wrote, “You wouldn’t appoint a model with no football/sporting credentials to champion a men’s World Cup, so why treat the women’s game differently. Utterly tone deaf. Do better.” While another said, “Sorry, but it’s inappropriate to have a model acting as a women’s sport ambassador. Women’s sport is being held back from achieving equality by such ridiculous FIFA decision that values appearance above skill and knowledge of the game.”