SEOUL: FIFA President Gianni Infantino is will willing to try and set up a football match between two hatred country North and South Korea on Wednesday as a way of easing hostility on the divided peninsula.
He visited South Korea, and Infantino said such a match would highlight the spirit of football as a game “beyond borders” that can unify rather than divide.
Tensions between the two nations have escalated in recent weeks following a spate of military posturing and hostile rhetoric from Pyongyang and Seoul.
Pres. Infantino in Seoul: "Let's use the power of football to bring people from South Korea & North Korea closer." https://t.co/2e7Hq0lRgt
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) April 27, 2016
[quote]We should bring everyone together around a football pitch. I’m ready to help and assist in whatever way is necessary[/quote]
[quote]Sometimes imagination can come true. Sometimes dreams can come true. These things can become a reality[/quote]
The two Koreas last held a friendly match in Seoul in 2005. Before that, they played two consecutive games in October 1990, in Seoul and Pyongyang, under the title “Inter-Korea Unification” matches.
Military tensions have increased high on the peninsula following North Korea’s nuclear test in January and a ballistic missile test staged a month later.
“Sometimes imagination can come true. Sometimes dreams can come true. These things can become a reality,” Infantino said.
The FIFA boss also defended the news to increase the number of teams participating in the World Cup to 40, beginning in 2026.
I believe that it’s important to increase the number of teams in the World Cup because we have to be more inclusive, he added.
Eight more teams will be entirely justifiable, he said, adding he was considering six more berths for the Asia region.