FIFA President says he’s open to North Korea hosting the World Cup one day
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FIFA President Gianni Infantino said he’s open for North Korea to host the World Cup one day as it could 'bring real change'.
On the eve of the World Cup opening ceremony, the FIFA boss addressed the controversy of Qatar hosting the tournament while having a terrible human rights record.
The FIFA boss added that any country could host the international tournament as his organization wants to help ‘unite the world’.
“FIFA is a global football organization,” Infantino said, as per The Athletic.
“We are football people, not politicians, and we want to bring people together.”
The president revealed that he had visited North Korea a few years ago to see if they would host the Women’s World Cup.
He said: “Any country can host an event. If North Korea wants to host something.
“I actually went to North Korea some years ago to ask the North Koreans if they were ready to host part of a Women’s World Cup with South Korea.
“Well, I was not successful, obviously, but I would go another 100 times if it would help.
“Only engagement can bring real change. We’re a global organization and want to remain an organization that unites the world.”
Mr Infantino said that he wanted the 32 countries competing to ‘focus on football’ while ‘understanding’ the different beliefs in Qatar.
He added: “That’s why if you come here and see something wrong, say it, but also say how we can rectify it, please, so maybe we can help.”
Last week, the FIFA boss also begged for a one-month ceasefire in Ukraine during the World Cup.
While speaking with world leaders in Indonesia during the 17th Group of Twenty (G20) summit, he said that the World Cup could serve as a platform to end the conflict.
He said: “Football is a force for good. We are not naïve to believe that football can solve the world’s problems.
“We know that our main focus as a sports organisation is and should be sports, but because Football Unites the World, this particular FIFA World Cup, with five billion people watching it, can be a trigger for a positive gesture, for a sign or a message of hope.”
Mr Infantino added if a ‘temporary ceasefire’ wasn’t possible, he urged Russia to at least open humanitarian corridors during the tournament.
He continued: “You are the world leaders; you have the ability to influence the course of history.”
Topics: News, North Korea, Football