Gianni Infantino's plea: Use World Cup for peace
The chief of football’s world governing body on Tuesday issued a plea for a ceasefire in the war in Ukraine for the duration of the World Cup starting on Sunday, calling for all sides to use the tournament as a “positive trigger” to work towards a resolution.
Speaking during a lunch with the G20 leaders here in Bali, Fifa president Gianni Infantino said the month-long World Cup in Qatar offered a unique platform for peace.
“My plea to all of you, to think on a temporary ceasefire for one month for the duration of the World Cup, or at least the implementation of some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace,” he said.
“You’re the world leaders, you have the ability to influence the course of history. Football and the World Cup are offering you and the world a unique platform of unity and peace all over the world.”
The World Cup final is on December 18.
Russia reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 WorldCup but has been barred from this tournament over its invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine came close to qualifying for Qatarbut lost out to Wales in a deciding playoff in June.
Infantino noted that Russia hosted the 2018 edition and Ukraine is bidding to hold the 2030 contest, while as many as5.5 billion people are expected to watch this year’s event, which could give a message of hope. “Maybe the current World Cup, starting in five days can be that positive trigger,” Infantino added.