Fifa president Gianni Infantino has a lot of issues to contend with at the moment: from ridding the beautiful game of corruption to clearing his name from the Panama Papers scandal and tackling human rights abuses at proposed World Cup venues. It’s safe to say his hands are full.
But the 45-year-old Swiss has designs on taking on the relatively combustible and near impossible task of setting up a friendly match between North and South Korea as a way of easing tensions on the divided peninsula.
On a recent visit to South Korea amid escalating tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang, Infantino opined that such a match would highlight the spirit of football as a game “beyond borders” that can unify rather than divide.
“We should bring everyone together around a football pitch… I’m ready to help and assist in whatever way is necessary,” Infantino said.
Both nations last held a ‘friendly’ match in Seoul in 2005, and there had been two consecutive games in October 1990, in Seoul and Pyongyang which were dubbed “Inter-Korea Unification” matches.
Sporting exchanges have virtually halted, along with other ties, as relations soured.
However, military tensions have been at their highest on the peninsula following North Korea’s nuclear test in January and a ballistic missile test staged a month later, with cross-border relations at the lowest level in years.
But the Fifa boss is undeterred, imploring the world to dream with him.
“Sometimes imagination can come true. Sometimes dreams can come true. These things can become a reality,” Infantino said.
Credit: Sky Sports