Home / News / World /  FIFA rejects Zelensky’s plea to share peace message ahead of World Cup final: Report

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup Final 2022, a report has stated that the organisers that controls international football and organizes the World Cup, has rejected Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's request to appear in a video to share the message of World peace ahead of the kick off of final match between Argentina and France. 

According to a news report by CNN, Zelensky had approached the FIFA World Cup organisers and appealed to let him appear in a video link to fans in the stadium in Qatar before the kick off, to share a message of world peace, eleven months since Russia unleashed the special military operation, invading the east European country. 

While Zelensky's appeal to appear in a video link ahead of the FIFA World Cup Final match is no surprise, FIFA's reported rejection sure is. It’s unclear if Zelensky’s message would be live, or taped.

“We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good," CNN quoted a person familiar with the matter. The news report also mentioned that talks between Ukraine and the sport’s governing body are still underway. 

Since February, Zelensky has appeared in every major event to keep the world's attention on Kyiv as Russia continues attacking the country. the Ukrainian President appeared in the Group of 20 Nations summit to the Grammys and the Cannes Film Festival. He also did interviews with Sean Penn and David Letterman, apart from several journalists. 

This adds to the criticism that FIFA has been facing since the start of the tournament in November in the Gulf country- Qatar. 

Footballers were warned against wearing pro-LGBTQ+ armbands to oppose the Gulf country's treatment of LGBTQ people and migrant workers. FIFA boss Gianni Infantino responded with an explosive tirade shortly before the tournament began, accusing Europe and the West of hypocrisy.

FIFA and seven European nations later came to loggerheads over the threat of sanctions for any player wearing a “OneLove" captain’s armband during games.

Further, Grant Wahl, the famed American soccer journalist who suddenly died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm during the World Cup, said in November that he was detained and briefly refused entry to a match because he was wearing a rainbow t-shirt in support of LGBTQ rights.

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.

Meanwhile, Ukraine worked Saturday to restore electricity and water supplies after Russia's latest wave of attacks pitched multiple cities into darkness and forced people to endure sub-zero temperatures without heating or running water.

The volley of missiles unleashed Friday came as President Vladimir Putin held extensive meetings with the military top brass overseeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine, where Moscow has stepped up bombardments.

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