FIFA President Gianni Infantino has stated his believe that the ongoing World Cup is uniting the world and bringing it together for the footballing occasion.
Infantino has come under scrutiny and criticism in recent weeks for his interview pre-World Cup and the lack of action over the human rights controversies in Qatar. But in an interview with the official FIFA channel recently, Infantino spoke about what football and the World Cup as a whole means to the global game.
He stated: “Football really unites the world. Football has this magic, this special feature that when the ball rolls, people come together. They come in a joyful atmosphere. I have to admit that before the [FIFA] World Cup, we were worried about having so many fans from so many countries, at the same time, in the same place. This does not happen in a normal [FIFA] World Cup. In a normal [FIFA] World Cup, you have in one city, fans of two countries, not more. Here, you have 32 countries plus all [the] other fans from the world who come to enjoy the [FIFA] World Cup together in the same place.”
The FIFA World Cup has seen a higher number of global fans head to stadiums, with there being a variety in the number of teams in Asia, Middle East and Africa being represented.
He further stated: “I was saying this some years ago already. I really believe that this [FIFA] World Cup can contribute, on one side for this part of the world, for the Gulf, for Qatar, for the Middle East, to showcase itself, to show to the world how hospitable [it is] and what a rich culture they have. But also for the rest of the world to come here and to witness the hospitality, to witness a new culture, to [get to] know each other better, and that’s exactly what’s happened.”
After a two-day break, the World Cup will restart tomorrow as Brazil will take on Croatia and Argentina will take on the Netherlands.