Gianni Infantino says that soccer can play a unifying role and calls for peace in Ukraine.
Five days before the start of the 2022 World Cup, on Sunday, the doubt remains as to whether the controversies will resist the arrival in Qatar, starting Tuesday, of the main soccer powers, many of them European countries, such as England, the Netherlands or even Denmark.
For his part, the president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, present at the G20 meeting in Bali, called on Tuesday for declare a ceasefire in the Ukrainian war during the planetary event.
“My call to all of you is to consider a month-long temporary ceasefire for the duration of the World Cup,” he declared.
“We are not so naive as to think that soccer can solve the world's problems,” he conceded. But the World Cup is a unique platform, with an estimated audience of five billion viewers, offering “an opportunity to do everything possible to end all conflicts,” he said, recalling that Russia organized the World Cup. The 2018 World Cup and that Ukraine is a candidate to host the competition in 2030 along with Spain and Portugal.
Support from French players to NGOs
The players of the French team announced their intention to give financial support to NGOs that act “in the protection of human rights” and they remembered their "commitment" with the "rejection of any type of discrimination" before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In a "collective letter" published on social networks, the current world champions acknowledge “a turbulent context” around this World Cup, which starts on Sunday: “Each of us must assume his part” responsibility, they explain, joining other classified countries that have already spoken out on the matter, such as Australia or Denmark.
Until now, Les Bleus had remained discreet regarding their positions on human rights, an issue that has aroused criticism from NGOs around this first World Cup organized in an Arab country.
In the tense extra-sports context of this World Cup, whether it is related to human rights, discrimination against LGBTQ+ people or environmental issues, each position taken or each action will be relevant. scrutinized.
What will be, for example, the attitude of the Danes in their first training session, after last Thursday they saw how FIFA forbade them to wear a shirt in favor of human rights at their clubs? What preparation sessions?
The Australians had indicated Monday upon arrival that they would no longer raise the issue of human rights, a few days after the publication of the report. n of a video that had a wide echo.
England and Netherlands Activities
On Monday, at their first press conference in Doha, they briefly alluded to the issue… to close it out.
"What we said in that video is there. “What was said, what should be heard was heard, and now, quite frankly, we only deal with football, we really don't talk about all that anymore,” explained Mr. forward Mitchell Duke from 'Socceroos' base camp.
The Netherlands and England, for their part, will meet on Thursday with the migrant workers who participated in the construction of infrastructures for this World Cup, within the framework of a program orchestrated by FIFA and Qatar.
The host country and the International Football Federation have planned "social" to allow volunteers, workers or amateur players to share an hour with the stars of the World Cup.
The controversies could also come from heaven. Germany took off He left Frankfurt on Monday for Qatar aboard a Lufthansa plane displaying a pro-diversity message.
The German company painted the picture. the motto 'Diversity wins' (diversity wins) on the fuselage of the aircraft, a direct message to the country organizing the World Cup, criticized since its designation by defenders of human rights and the environment.