Zelenskyy publishes address FIFA refused to play before World Cup final

18 December 2022, 07:44 PM
FIFA refused to broadcast Zelenskyi's appeal for peace (Photo:Скриншот з відео Андрій Павелко / Facebook)

FIFA refused to broadcast Zelenskyi's appeal for peace (Photo:Скриншот з відео Андрій Павелко / Facebook)

The Office of the President of Ukraine on Dec. 18 published a video message by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that world football management body FIFA refused to air before the 2022 World Cup finals. 

In it, the Ukrainian leader calls for a “global summit based on the (Ukrainian) peace formula.”

The video was made public by President’s Office head Andriy Yermak.

“This World Cup proved time and again that different nationalities can decide who is the strongest in fair play, but not in the play with fire. On a green playing field. And not on the red battlefield,” Zelenskyy said in his address.

Video of day

Ukraine needs peace more than anything, the head of state said.

“We proposed a formula for peace, because you cannot be a champion in war. There can be no draw,” he said.

Zelenskyy recalled the initiative to hold a global summit for peace this winter, “a summit to unite all nations of the world around the course of global peace.”

“Support Ukraine in our efforts to restore peace. Join the global peace formula summit,” he said.

Andriy Pavelko, President of the Ukrainian Football Association, also posted Zelenskyy’s address on his Facebook page. He called on representatives of the football community of Ukraine and the world to spread the president’s appeal.

Football players Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleksandr Shovkovskyy, Oleksandr Syrota have already joined the call of the UFA president.

The initiative was also joined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the embassies of Poland, Estonia and Ireland, which also published Zelenskyy’s video address on their social media pages.

Earlier, CNN reported that FIFA had refused the President’s Office’s request to broadcast Zelenskyy’s address before the 2022 World Cup final match in Qatar.

The President’s Office criticized FIFA for the refusal, and emphasized that Zelensky's video contains a “call for peace.”

The PO said that this decision shows that “FIFA has lost a valuable understanding of football – as a game that unites people, rather than supporting existing divisions.”

The PO also promised to release the video if FIFA did not air it.

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