View Comments

WA's peak soccer body has secured a $930,000 sponsorship deal over three years in return for promoting anti-smoking messages and boycotting fast-food endorsements.

Football West said the funding, one of Healthway's biggest sports sponsorships, would help junior soccer, which attracted thousands of boys and was one of the fastest growing sports for girls.

It is part of a push by the State Government health promotion agency, which is funded by tobacco taxes, to demand that sporting clubs sever ties with junk food and alcohol companies in return for its sponsorship.

WA Rugby League and Rugby WA were stripped of thousands of dollars in funding last year and in 2011 because of their links with McDonald's.

Healthway has sponsored Football West for several years but the new deal focuses on promoting the Smarter than Smoking message through juniors as well as the Perth Glory women's team and soccer generally.

Chief executive Peter Hugg said his organisation wanted to promote healthy living and the importance of exercise. It had always preferred to "steer clear" of fast-food sponsorship and products and brands that could send the wrong message.

"Football remains the most played sport in WA," Mr Hugg said.

"The success and growing popularity of Australia's national team, the Matildas and our own Perth Glory women's team are helping increase the number of female participants, who share the ambition of representing their State and country."

Healthway chairwoman Rosanna Capolingua called on other sports to ditch sponsors that promoted unhealthy messages such as junk food and alcohol to children, citing the two rugby codes, cricket and Australian Rules football as lagging behind.

"Soccer has made a very clear choice about having only healthy sponsorship and there are now only a handful of sports that are not coming onboard," Dr Capolingua said.

"People carry on about us being teetotallers or prohibitionists but that is not true. We're responding to what parents expect and we're concerned about the health and safety of West Australians."

'People carry on about us being teetotallers or prohibitionists but that is not true.' "Healthway chairwoman *Rosanna Capolingua *