The Presidentʼs Office commented on FIFAʼs refusal to show Zelenskyiʼs appeal

Anhelina Sheremet

The Presidentʼs Office of Ukraine commented on FIFAʼs refusal to show President Volodymyr Zelenskyiʼs video address before the final of the FIFA World Cup on Sunday, December 18.

The Presidentʼs Office made its position public in a written statement for CNN.

The Presidentʼs Office said that the video was intended as a "call for peace."

"Qatar supported the presidentʼs initiative, but FIFA blocked the initiative and did not allow the presidentʼs video address to be shown before the final game," the statement said.

The Ukrainian presidentʼs office also said it would release the video on its own if FIFA did not air it and said their decision to block the appeal would show that "FIFA has lost a valuable understanding of football as a game that unites peoples, rather than supporting existing divisions.".

The Office of the President of Ukraine also told CNN that FIFA considered Zelenskyʼs appeal to be too political and said that they had sent a copy of the text of the appeal to FIFA headquarters in Switzerland.

"There is nothing political in the presidentʼs address, which gives a political color to the sports event, namely subjective assessments, political signals, and even more accusations," the Presidentʼs Office said.

CNN reached out to FIFA but did not receive a comment. Qatar has not publicly commented on Ukraineʼs request.