FIFA President Gianni Infantino insisted that the G20 summit should cooperate to take the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as a catalyst for global peace, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine developing into war over the past nine months.
On Tuesday, five days before the opening of the World Cup in Qatar, FIFA’s head made a speech at a luncheon meeting on the first day of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. “So my plea for all of you is to think of a temporary ceasefire for one month for the World Cup or at least some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as the first step to peace,” spoke the FIFA president. “You are the world leaders; you can influence the course of history.”
He described football and the World Cup as a “unique platform of unity and peace,” explaining why the international community needs to take this opportunity to do everything possible to end all conflicts. “We are not naïve to believe that football can solve the world’s problems. We know that our main focus as a sports organisation is and should be sports, but because Football Unites the World, this particular FIFA World Cup, with five billion people watching it, can be a trigger for a positive gesture, for a sign or a message of hope,” he added.
Back in 2018, when Russia held the World Cup, it advanced to the quarterfinals. Since it invaded Ukrainian territory, it has been banned from joining any international event that FIFA opens. The Russian national football team made its way up to the playoff round in the European Qualifiers for the World Cup this June, which Wales blocked from grabbing a ticket to Qatar.
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