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Kuleba calls FIFA’s rejection of Zelensky’s request to offer ‘message of peace’ hypocritical

by The Kyiv Independent news desk December 18, 2022 11:04 PM 1 min read
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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized the International Association of Football Federations’ (FIFA) decision to reject President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to deliver a “message of peace” during the World Cup final in Qatar.

The decision by FIFA “showed the hypocrisy under the name ‘sports outside of politics,’” Kuleba said.

“World sports organizations and officials have covered themselves with this phrase for too long. In fact, cowardice was always behind it,” Kuleba said.

Argentina won the World Cup, defeating France, on Dec. 18.

On Dec. 16, the International Association of Football Federations (FIFA) rejected President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to deliver a “message of peace” during the World Cup final in Qatar, according to CNN, citing an unnamed source.

Zelensky’s office was reportedly surprised by FIFA’s rejection of the Ukrainian president’s proposal.

“We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good,” the source said, adding that talks between Ukraine and FIFA were still underway.

FIFA and its European body, UEFA, suspended Russian football clubs and national teams from all competitions on Feb. 28, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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