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FIFA bosses reject President Zelenskyy’s request to deliver a peace message at World Cup final, CNN reports

Ukrainian President Volodymyr ZelenskyyUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks as he and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson give a press conference on August 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Alexey Furman/Getty Images

  • FIFA has rejected President Zelenskyy’s request to deliver a peace message at the World Cup final.
  • CNN reported the president offered to appear in a video to broadcast to global audiences on Sunday.
  • The source voiced their surprise to CNN: “I thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good.”

FIFA bosses have rejected President Zelenskyy’s request to air a message of world peace before the World Cup final on Sunday, CNN reported.

A source close to Zelenskyy’s office told the news outlet that President Zelenskyy offered to appear in a video broadcast to fans watching the World Cup final on Sunday in Qatar, but FIFA executives have denied the offer. 

“We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good,” the anonymous source told CNN, adding they were surprised by the rejection. 

Since Putin invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Zelenskyy has used major global events and international stages to highlight the plight of Ukrainian citizens and armed forces. 

He has spoken at the British Parliament and Congress, the Cannes Film Festival, the G20 summit, and celebrity fundraisers for Ukrainians

The World Cup stage at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium would have been an opportunity for the president to call attention to the Ukrainian cause, but that sentiment is allegedly not shared by FIFA’s bosses. 

FIFA did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

The FIFA World Cup has been a source of political controversy since it named Qatar as host, with outrage surrounding the country’s stark violations of workers’ rights, as well as harsh rejections of the rights of gay people

FIFA has, however, tried hard not to platform the controversy or allow it to enter into the sport. Earlier in the tournament, the organization’s president urged players and fans to “let football take center stage” and “not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists,” per The Independent.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup final match will take place on Sunday, with France playing Argentina for the world champion’s trophy. 

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