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Gianni Infantino, the president of Fifa, has called for a month-long Russia-Ukraine “World Cup ceasefire” in a surprise appeal to world leaders at the G20 summit.
Addressing politicians days before the start of the tournament in Qatar, Infantino added: “Let’s take this opportunity to do everything we can to start ending all conflict.”
Infantino previously pleaded with World Cup nations not to politicize the upcoming tournament which has been hampered by human rights concerns. In his Bali speech, however, he attempts to call for world peace.
Nine months after Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Infantino said in his speech: “My appeal to all of you is to think of a one-month temporary ceasefire for the duration of the World Cup. , or at least [until] the establishment of certain humanitarian corridors, or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step towards peace.
“You are the world leaders, you have the ability to influence the course of history. Football and the World Cup offer you and the world a unique platform of unity and peace in the world. world. So let’s take this opportunity to do everything we can start to end all conflict.”
His political intervention comes after he wrote to all World Cup nations earlier this month asking them to avoid political protests.
Infantino instead launched a new ‘Football Unites the World’ campaign, saying the World Cup “will be a celebration of that unity and that passion for the game that we love so much”.
Cristiano Ronaldo, at the center of his own fury over his interview with Piers Morgan, joins Lucy Bronze, Lionel Messi and Neymar on a launch video. “Under the umbrella of Football Unites the World, Fifa will join forces with a range of partners and international organizations to promote and highlight causes such as anti-discrimination, sustainability and education during the FIFA World Cup,” the governing body said.
Russia is banned from participating in international tournaments, while Ukraine has not qualified for the tournament which will start on November 20.