FIFA President Gianni Infantino asked for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine throughout the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The FIFA president made the plea during a G20 summit in Indonesia. An annual meeting involving 19 different countries and the European Union, the G20 gathering typically discusses global issues such as economy, climate change, and other financial concerns.

Speaking at the summit, Infantino claimed that the sport could be used to unite people together. “Football is a force for good,” began Infantino. “We are not naïve to believe that football can solve the world’s problems. We know that our main focus as a sports organization is and should be sports, but because Football Unites the World, this particular FIFA World Cup, with five billion people watching it, can be a trigger for a positive gesture, for a sign or a message of hope.”

FIFA just recently launched their Football Unites the World program. The initiative will essentially help shed a light on issues such as discrimination, education, and sustainability. Superstars such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, and Neymar have all signed on to help promote the program.

Infantino also acknowledged both of the nations roles in the World Cup. “Russia hosted the last World Cup in 2018, and Ukraine is bidding to host the World Cup in 2030,” stated the FIFA President. “Maybe, the current World Cup, starting in five days, can really be that positive trigger.”

FIFA president asks for temporary ceasefire

“So my plea, to all of you, is to think on a temporary ceasefire, for one month, for the duration of the FIFA World Cup, or at least the implementation of humanitarian corridors, or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace. You are the world leaders; you have the ability to influence the course of history.”

“Football and the FIFA World Cup are offering you and the world a unique platform of unity and peace all over the world,” President Infantino also added. “So let’s take this opportunity to do everything we can to start putting an end to all conflicts.”

The latest G20 meeting was the first since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. Infantino was certainly not the only speaker to talk about the conflict. The war dominated conversations during the summit. However, it remains to be seen if the speeches will make an effect on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.