Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor City
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, has expressed great nostalgia for Russia as a nation and for its football administration saying that FIFA cannot wait to return to Russia immediately after the war of invasion of Ukraine ends.
Gianni Infantino made the pronouncement at the world governing body’s- FIFA- congress in Qatar, ahead of this year’s World Cup tournament in the host country in November/December 2022.
Infantino said that any time the war ends, “FIFA would be there (Russia) the first day to play football again”
He said it was right to sustain contact with Russian Football Federation and expressed satisfaction that there was Russian representation at the FIFA congress held in Qatar
Infantino expressed delight that Russia’s national federation had not been suspended by FIFA although the country’s national and club teams have been blocked from playing in FIFA and UEFA competitions, including the World Cup.
But Infantino said it was important to maintain dialogue with federation officials.
He said further, “We had to suspend Russia and Russian teams. It’s not an easy decision of course, because it’s about people who love football.
Gianni Infantino, a former Secretary of the Union of European Football Association, UEFA, said of Russia’s suspension, “we had to make the decisions, and now we have to look forward and hope the hostilities can stop, and we can bring a little bit of peace”, he said.
He enthused, “the decision on Russia has been taken. The Russian Football Union has appealed the decision to CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) so we are waiting for the result of the CAS deliberations”.
Infantino further said of Russia’s appeal, “we will see what comes next. I sincerely hope the conflict can end, and we would be there the first day to play football again, because that’s what I think is needed in this country”.
Asked of the mindless killings and other human right abuses ongoing in Uraine by Russia, Infantino for once sounded remorseful saying, “I’m very sad of course for what is happening, and I’m as devastated as everyone.”
Recalled that in 2019, Gianni Infantino was a guest of President Vladimir Putin in Kremlin, Moscow, where he was awarded an Order of Friendship medal.Share