A source for CNN: FIFA rejects Zelensky’s request to deliver a “message of peace” in the Qatar World Cup final

(CNN) — A source told CNN that the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to deliver a “message of world peace” before the start of the Qatar World Cup final, next Sunday.

The source stated that Zelensky’s office offers to appear in a video in front of the fans at Lusail Stadium in Qatar, before the start of the match, but was surprised by the negative reactions, and it was not clear whether the Ukrainian president’s message would be published or recorded.

“We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the common good,” the source added, adding that talks between Ukraine and the sports organization were still ongoing.

CNN has reached out to FIFA for comment, but it did not immediately respond.

The request, while unconventional, is unsurprising, as the Ukrainian capital Kyiv has repeatedly tried to use major world events, regardless of their topic, to keep the global spotlight on the war in Ukraine by Russia.

Volodymyr Zelensky has appeared via video on more than one occasion, starting with the G20 summit and the Cannes Film Festival, and has also interviewed and talked with a variety of famous journalists and artists, including Sean Penn and David Letterman, using magic and media intelligence in the entertainment industry, as The Ukrainian president was an actor before he became a politician, to drum up support for Ukraine.

The World Cup final, in its twenty-second edition, will be held on the grounds of Lusail Stadium, on Sunday evening, and will bring together the French national team and its Argentine counterpart.


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