Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has stated that FIFA denied his request to display a message of peace on the video screen at Lusail Stadium prior to the World Cup final on Sunday.
Zelenskyy recorded the message, which included an appeal for a global peace conference, 10 months into Ukraine’s bloody war with Russia, which began with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade his neighbour.
“Even though FIFA prevented this message from being broadcast at the stadium before the final game in Qatar,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address to Ukrainians.
According to CNN, FIFA rejected Zelenskyy’s request because they “thought the message was too political.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino endorsed the idea of keeping politics out of the game during a press conference on Friday.
“Perhaps everyone has their own problems. They (fans) just want to spend 90 minutes or 100 minutes or 120 minutes with penalties without having to think about anything else. Just taking in a brief moment of pleasure and joy, of emotions, “Infantino explained.
“We need to give these people a break from their problems so they can enjoy football. Outside of the game, anyone can express their thoughts and opinions.”