FIFA President, Infantino has rejected a request by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to share a message of world peace prior to kickoff at the World Cup final on Sunday.
Zelensky’s office offered to appear in a video link to fans in the stadium in Qatar, ahead of the game to share the ‘message of peace’ but he has been met with negative response.
It’s unclear if Zelensky’s message would be live, or recorded.
It is believed that the negotiation is still underway.
Zelensky’s effort is to use major world events, regardless of their theme, to keep the global spotlight on the war in Ukraine.
Prior to his request to FIFA, Zelensky has appeared via video at everything from the Group of 20 Nations summit to the Grammys and the Cannes Film Festival.
It is understood that FIFA’s refusal to accept Ukraine’s plea is another effort from them to keep political messaging out of its showcase tournament in Qatar, the first Middle Eastern nation ever to stage the event.
At a news conference Friday, Infantino said FIFA had stopped some “political statements” in Qatar because it has to “take care of everyone.”
‘We are a global organization and we don’t discriminate against anyone,’ Infantino said.
We are defending values, we are defending human rights and rights of everyone at the World Cup. Those fans and the billions watching on TV, they have their own problems.
‘They just want to watch 90 or 120 minutes without having to think about anything, but just enjoying a little moment of pleasure and joy. We have to give them a moment when they can forget about their problems and enjoy football.’