Tuesday 15 November 2022, 15:00

FIFA President: Football Unites the World

  • Gianni Infantino reiterates his call to world leaders to start dialogue as a first step to peace to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict

  • FIFA President: “Football touches the emotions of people – it is about passion, inclusion”

  • Mr Infantino was speaking after addressing the 2022 G20 Bali summit in Indonesia

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has again highlighted football’s unique ability unite the world and reiterated a plea to world leaders to begin a dialogue as a first step to bring the conflict in Russia and Ukraine to an end.

Speaking shortly after addressing the assembled world leaders at the 17th Group of Twenty (G20) Summit in Bali, Indonesia, the FIFA President re-emphasised his earlier comments about the unique opportunity the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ presents.

“My message is actually very simple, it's about football, and football unites the world,” the FIFA President said. “I also made a plea to the world leaders, in particular with regard to the war in Ukraine and Russia calling for a ceasefire for the duration of the FIFA World Cup at least.”

Mr Infantino’s comments coincide with the launch of FIFA’s Football Unites the World campaign, within which a host of global football stars joined together and called on the global community to focus on the game’s unique unifying power.

His speech to the G20 leaders also comes five days before more than two million fans from every corner of the world are expected to descend on Doha to enjoy the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The tournament – the first FIFA World Cup™ to take place in the Arab world – will reach another five billion people worldwide.

A unique opportunity, the FIFA President says, for the global community to join as one – with a platform unrivalled by any other global event.

“Football touches also the emotions of people,” President Infantino continued. “Football is about passion, is about inclusion. Football and the FIFA World Cup can create real standstills of countries, and a World Cup is watched by five billion people – more than half of the world population, all over the world.

“So, of course, it is of interest to the world leaders. And, of course, we need, as sports organisations, to work together with the world leaders to bring a little bit of joy to the people - and maybe also to build some bridges which otherwise wouldn’t exist.”