FIFA calls for ‘temporary ceasefire’ between Russia, Ukraine during World Cup

With the biggest sporting event in the world just four days away, Gianni Infantino has called for a month-long truce between Russia and Ukraine.

FIFA’s president has called on Russia and Ukraine to enter a one-month ceasefire during the Qatar World Cup 2022, which is less than five days away.

Gianni Infantino urged a “temporary ceasefire” in Ukraine while speaking to leaders at a summit of the G20 group of major economies in Indonesia.

The World Cup offers a “unique platform” for harmony and peace because it would be seen by five billion people around the world, he argued. “Maybe the current World Cup can be that positive trigger.”

“So, my plea with all of you is to stay on a temporary ceasefire for one month for the duration of the World Cup,” he said at lunch with G20 leaders in Bali.

He suggested various humanitarian corridors as a substitute or “anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as the first step to peace. You are the world leaders, and you have the ability to influence the course of history.”

This comes as the FIFA president urged nations to stray away from politics and focus on the game.

Earlier this month, Infantino advised the 32 nations preparing for the arguably the most political World Cup in modern history to concentrate on the game in Qatar and refrain from imparting lessons in morality, asking to”let football take centre stage”.

“Please, let’s now focus on the football!” Infantino and the secretary general of FIFA wrote, asking the competing federations to “not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), meanwhile urged states to send athletes to international competitions based on their sporting ability, not their political affiliations, reports said.

“International sports will fall apart if participation is decided on political grounds,” said Bach. “We need the participation of all athletes who accept rules even, especially if their countries are in confrontation.”

FIFA along with the European Football Associations (UEFA) suspended Russian national teams and clubs from international football in March over its invasion of Ukraine in February.

The decision came following international calls to ban Russia from international sporting events.

The IOC had also called for banning Russia and Belarus, which had supported the Russian invasion, from participating in tournaments. The IOC said that Russia and Belarus breached the Olympic Truce.

“In order to protect the integrity of global sports competitions and for the safety of all the participants, the IOC EB recommends that International Sports Federations and sports event organisers not invite or allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials in international competitions,” it said.

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