FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called for a one-month ceasefire in the Ukraine war as the world gets ready for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the world in February this year when he ordered the invasion of Ukraine.
The war brought repercussions for Russia, with many Western Nations rallying up to slam Russia with economic sanctions.
Other western corporations with branches in Russia withdrew and reduced the level of engagement with Russia.
Even World’s football governing body rallied around Ukraine and banned Russia from participating in the 2022 World Cup.
The human and material cost of the nine months invasion has been enormous, with calls to end the war falling on deaf ears.
As the World gets ready for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called on the warring parties to broker a one-month ceasefire to honor the tournament.
Speaking to the world leaders at the G20 summit in Bali, just days before the tournament gets underway in Qatar, Gianni Infantino urged world leaders to do all possible to end the war in Ukraine.
The world’s football top executive said football is a force for good, although we should not be naive to think it can solve all of the World’s problems.
He pointed out that football should be specifically focused on the sports and entertainment for which it was designed, but as long as it unites the world, bringing people of all races, religions, nationalities, languages, and histories together, it should then be utilized to broker world peace and harmony.
According to him, the World Cup commands a global audience numbering over five billion and can be a “trigger of hope” amidst boiling tensions between nations.
“The current World Cup starting in five days can be a positive trigger. Russia hosted the last edition, and Ukraine is bidding for the 2030 edition. So my plea for all of you is to think of a temporary ceasefire for one month for the duration of the tournament”, the football chief said.
Infantino also pleaded for “at least some humanitarian corridors” to temporarily halt hostilities between the warring parties “or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace.”
As he progressed with his address, the Italian national challenged the world leaders to “influence the course of history,” with the 2022 World Cup offering them a unique opportunity to realize peace by encouraging dialogue.
Meanwhile, Russia and Putin are off the guest list as the World Cup gets underway on November 20
Despite serving a ban from the tournament, Qatar’s empire was full of praises for the Russian people and Vladimir Putin at a summit in Kazakhstan last month for the assistance given to Qatar.
Sounding a bit controversial, the emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani thanked Putin, saying he is proud of the Russian people and the relationship of Qatar with the country.
He said Russia had lent tremendous support to Qatar ahead of the tournament after they successfully hosted it in 2018.
‘We thank you for this and we are proud of this relationship. This will continue until the end of the World Cup,” he said.
The 2022 World Cup will be opened by the host nation Qatar as they tackled Ecuador in an opening match on November 20.
Poland, their scheduled opponent in the World Cup play-offs, refused to travel to Moscow to play, using other teams in the play-off bracket.
There was the prospect of Russia qualifying for the 2022 World Cup by default, but FIFA argued that letting Russia qualify by default will cause more harm to the tournament as many nations will likely boycott the tournament.
Hence, Russia’s 2022 World Cup hopes was dashed, with Poland qualifying instead.