FIFA President stresses the unifying power of football at the Doha Forum
Gianni Infantino states the upcoming FIFA World Cup can "unite the world"
Concrete examples of good messages that football has been giving all over the world highlighted
Mr Infantino was speaking at the closing session of the 28th Doha Forum in Qatar
Addressing the 28th Doha Forum, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has reiterated that the upcoming FIFA World Cup will provide an opportunity to remind the global community of the core principles of unity, solidarity and inclusion. Attending the closing panel discussion – alongside Catherine Russell, Executive Director, UNICEF, Mary Robinson, Chair, The Elders, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Collen Vixen Kelapile, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN, and President of the ECOSOC for 2022 and Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, President of International Peace Institute, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – the FIFA President tackled the challenges and solutions faced by a world increasingly interconnected and interdependent, and stressed the role sport has played, and can continue to play, in bringing people together.
“Nelson Mandela said ‘sport has the power to change the world’, and I think we all agree that Mandela was one of the persons who achieved something incredible for humanity in the last century,” the FIFA President said. “This FIFA World Cup will be a unique occasion to try to unite the world, and we need to use the positive values that sport can have. Look at what the FIFA World Cup has done here in Qatar in terms of workers’ rights. Or in Iran, where women are now allowed to go into football stadiums, and this was not allowed for 40 years. And in Saudi Arabia, where there is a women’s league now; women playing football. It’s important. They are messages, and very visible ones.” The FIFA President addressed delegates at the forum, which was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and which included contributions from Bill Gates, David Beckham, John Kerry, Josep Borrell, Malala Yousafzai and His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Qatar.