It is no marketing secret that good-looking people are a pretty useful tool when it comes to selling things.

One has to assume, then, that this is this thought process behind FIFA’s latest decision which, once again, shows football’s governing body to be entirely detached from the merest hint of self-awareness.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup is just four months away and last week, FIFA revealed their first Global Fan Ambassador is Adriana Lima.

If that name is unfamiliar to football fans, especially women’s football fans, it is because she has nothing to do with football. Lima is a Brazilian supermodel who is best known for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel – which is one of the most coveted jobs in the modelling world – for almost 20 years.

There is no argument that Lima is quite delightful to look at. But for FIFA to be quite so tone deaf as to appoint a supermodel who has the most minimal of connections to football is stunning, even by their own dreadful standards.

That the men’s game has been so dominant for so long seems to have rendered FIFA unable to decide how they should treat women’s football and how they should grow the sport.

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Even the merest glance, reveals it is expanding exponentially, and has been for some years. It has long been a success in the Unites States, but in recent years, the sport’s growth and increase in profile within Europe has been remarkable.

Last year, a world record was set when more than 91,000 fans packed into the Camp Nou to watch Barcelona take on Wolfsburg in the Women’s Champions League, with the Catalans bettering their own world record that was set just a few weeks previously when they took on Real Madrid.

Similarly, within the UK, the success of, in particular, the English women’s national team has driven the interest in the sport to a level few would have imagined a decade ago.

The detractors who claim the interest just isn’t there, have well and truly lost that argument.

Yet FIFA have, it seems, still to catch on that women’s football should be considered one of their most valuable assets.

Actually, to criticise all of FIFA is perhaps unfair. There is the odd woman in the upper echelons of the organisation who fight for the cause and highlight its worth.

Indeed, one of the most vocal critics of the appointment of Lima as an ambassador came from someone who has recently been on the inside of the organisation. Moya Dodd, who is a former FIFA council member, called the decision baffling and said it sent out entirely the wrong message to players and fans.

Of course it does.

By appointing Lima, FIFA are yet again perpetuating the myth that looks are a more important quality for women to have above all else.

Of all the talented, successful, charismatic and athletic women FIFA could have offered this role to, they chose a supermodel, which sends the message to young girls across the globe that appearance is more important than any other quality they might possess.

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Such a decision should come as little surprise, bearing in mind FIFA are well known to be a cosy boys’ club.

Dodd, who played for Australia for almost a decade in the 1980s and 90s, put it perfectly when she said of the decision: “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.

“In a FIFA World Cup year, that’s the message that should be ringing loud and true around the world. Where a supermodel fits into this is truly baffling.”

FIFA’s decision to appoint Lima came quickly on the back of reports that Saudi Arabia’s tourism authority will sponsor this summer’s Women’s World Cup, which begins in July.

To choose a tourism board of a nation that only gave women the vote in 2015, only permitted them to drive in 2018, decrees they must remain segregated from men unless married, must dress “modestly” and obey their guardians, is astonishing.

It is impossible to work out what logic has been applied to much of FIFA’s decision-making when it comes to the women’s game.

For a sport that has such disparity between the men’s and women’s disciplines, it would seem obvious that a primary target should be to grow the latter; not to diminish men’s football, but to cement football’s status as the world’s No.1 sport even further.

Whether it is sexism or ignorance (and when the choice is between conspiracy and cock-up, it’s almost always cock-up), FIFA are sorely missing the mark when it comes to doing the right thing by the women’s game.

All too often in recent years, the development of women’s football has been despite FIFA’s help, rather than because of it.