FIFA rejects Zelensky’s request to share a message of peace in the World Cup final

(CNN) — FIFA has rejected a request by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to share a message of world peace before kick-off of Sunday’s World Cup final, a source close to the Ukrainian leader told CNN.

The source said Zelensky’s office offered to appear on a video link to fans at the Qatar stadium before the game and was surprised by the negative response. It is not clear if Zelensky’s message would be live or recorded.

“We thought that FIFA wanted to use its platform for the common good,” the source said.

However, talks between Ukraine and the sport’s governing body are still ongoing, the source added.

The request, although unorthodox, is not surprising. Kyiv has repeatedly tried to use major world events, regardless of their theme, to keep world attention on the war in Ukraine.

Zelensky has appeared on video at all sorts of events, from the Group of 20 Nations summit to the Grammys and the Cannes Film Festival. She has also conducted interviews and conversations with a wide range of journalists and entertainment celebrities including Sean Penn and David Letterman.

FIFA did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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