FIFA turned down Volodymyr Zelensky’s plea to deliver a message of world peace before the World Cup final kicked off on Sunday, CNN reported, citing sources.

The report mentioned that Zelensky’s staff offered to appear on a video link to spectators in the stadium in Qatar before the game and was taken aback by the response. It’s not clear if Zelensky would deliver a live or recorded message.

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“We thought FIFA wanted to use its platform for the greater good,” the source said, reported CNN.

The source noted that discussions between Ukraine and the organisation in charge of administering the sport are still ongoing.

The request is unusual but not unexpected. Regardless of the events’ themes, Kyiv has often attempted to exploit them to focus attention on the conflict in Ukraine.

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Zelensky has made video appearances at a variety of events, including the Grammy Awards, the Cannes Film Festival, and the summit of the Group of 20 Nations. In addition, he has engaged in conversations and interviews with a wide range of journalists and well-known entertainers, such as Sean Penn and David Letterman, using his charm and media savvy, which he developed in the entertainment business before becoming a politician (he was an actor first), to promote Ukraine.

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On Friday, Russian soldiers reportedly launched 60 missiles and used drones to conduct attacks across Ukraine, hitting the nation’s capital Kyiv as well as locations in the north, south, west, and centre.

A residential building in Kryvyi Rih was struck, killing two people; a third person died in Kherson. This week, attacks increased as Russia targeted Ukraine’s infrastructure for its civilian population. Several other areas, including the northern city of Kharkiv, were without power entirely.

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There are widespread emergency power disruptions, according to a presidential official. Since the attacks on Friday, according to power grid operator Ukrenergo, energy usage has decreased by 50%. In all of Ukraine, the alert was sounded, and 60 total missiles were fired, according to air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat.