FIFA rejected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to share a so-called “message of peace” during Sunday’s World Cup final match between France and Argentina.
CNN quoted a source as saying on Friday that Zelensky’s office is offering to appear in a video link to fans in the stadium in Qatar, ahead of the game and was surprised by the negative response. It’s unclear if Zelensky’s message would be live, or taped.
“We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good,” the source said.
However, talks between Ukraine and the sport’s governing body are “still underway,” the source added. CNN has reached out to FIFA for comment, but it did not immediately respond.
Kyiv has repeatedly tried to use major world events, regardless of their theme, to keep the global spotlight on the war in Ukraine.
FIFA, however, has gone to extreme length to keep political messaging out of its showcase tournament in Qatar, the first Middle Eastern nation ever to stage the event.
At a news conference Friday, FIFA President Giovanni Vincenzo Infantino said FIFA had stopped some “political statements” in Qatar because it has to “take care of everyone.”