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With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalating into war over the past nine months, FIFA President Gianni Infantino insisted that the G20 summit work together to use the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 as a catalyst for global peace.
FIFA’s president delivered a speech at a luncheon meeting on the first day of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, on Tuesday, five days before the World Cup begins in Qatar. “So my plea to all of you is to consider a one-month ceasefire for the World Cup, or at least humanitarian corridors, or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as the first step toward peace,” said FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
“You are world leaders; you have the power to change the course of history.”
He described football and the World Cup as a “unique platform of unity and peace,” emphasizing the importance of the international community seizing this opportunity to do everything possible to end all conflicts. “We are not naive enough to believe that football can solve all of the world’s problems.”
We know that sports are and should be our primary focus as a sports organization, but because Football Unites the World, this particular FIFA World Cup, with five billion people watching it, can be a catalyst for a positive gesture, a sign, or a message of hope,” he added.
When Russia hosted the World Cup in 2018, it reached the quarterfinals. It has been barred from participating in any international event hosted by FIFA since it invaded Ukrainian territory. The Russian national football team advanced to the World Cup playoff round in the European Qualifiers this June, but Wales prevented them from going to Qatar.