FIFA has sent an official letter to every team taking part in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, particularly those engaging in peaceful protests. The sport’s governing body set the letter to urge the 32 teams to “focus on the football.”

The 2022 World Cup has received constant backlash for a multitude of problems. Corruption, human rights issues, and a migrant worker crisis are only some of the concerns in the host country of Qatar.

In the letter, which was signed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, teams were asked to be respectful of the host country. “We know football does not live in a vacuum and we are equally aware that there are many challenges and difficulties of a political nature all around the world,” the letter obtained by BBC says. “But please do not allow football to be dragged into every ideological or political battle that exists.”

“At FIFA, we try to respect all opinions and beliefs, without handing out moral lessons to the rest of the world. No one people or culture or nation is “better” than any other. This principle is the very foundation stone of mutual respect and non-discrimination.”

“And this is also one of the core values of football. So, please let’s all remember that and let football take center stage.”

“We have the unique occasion and opportunity to welcome and embrace everyone, regardless of origin, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality.”

FIFA frustrated with teams’ peaceful protests for World Cup

Participating nations have already planned certain ways to help bring some of these issues to the light. Denmark will wear monotone jerseys so that the kit manufacturer logo, Hummel, is not visible. Australia also recently released a video urging Qatar to abolish their same-sex laws.

Ten European teams, including England, will have their captain’s wear One Love armbands as well. The campaign promotes inclusion and equality. England players have also extended an invitation to migrant workers to visit the team’s training in Qatar. These workers can watch practices and spend time with the players.

The World Cup is all set to start in nearly two weeks.

PHOTO: IMAGO / ActionPictures

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final