IOC President Thomas Bach called for peace during his speech at the G20 Summit ©IOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and his FIFA counterpart, Gianni Infantino, have called for peace at the G20 Summit in Bali, with the football official directly pleading for a ceasefire for the length of the men's World Cup in Qatar.

World leaders - such as United States and Chinese Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping - have gathered in Indonesia for a two-day Summit with the ongoing war in Ukraine dominating the agenda.

Vladimir Putin has not travelled to the meeting, but Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is providing in-person representation for the Russian President.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared in a video speech and demanded for the war to end.

Bach used his speech at the gathering to reiterate his call for peace - which he stated during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing 2022 Olympics - and insisted sport must not be used for political reasons.

"We have condemned and sanctioned the Russian Government in an unprecedented way for this blatant violation of the Olympic Charter," the German official said.

"We are supporting the athletes and members of the Ukrainian Olympic community everywhere with all our solidarity.

"But in contrast to the far too many other wars and conflicts in our world, regarding this war some Governments started to decide which athletes would be allowed to participate in international sports competitions - and which not.

"They did and they do so purely on political grounds.

World leaders, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, have travelled to Indonesia ©Getty Images
World leaders, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, have travelled to Indonesia ©Getty Images

"They want to decide which athletes can now qualify and finally compete at the Olympic Games.

"If sport becomes - in this way - just another tool to achieve political goals, international sport will fall apart.

"Olympic sport needs the participation of all athletes who accept the rules, even and especially if their countries are in confrontation or at war.

"A competition between athletes from only like-minded states is not a credible symbol of peace."

He added: "In this age of division, our role is clear: to unite the world – and not to deepen divisions."

Bach continued by calling on countries to accept the IOC's position as a "politically neutral" organisation.

"To live up to our unifying mission, the IOC must be politically neutral," he said.

"To allow future Olympic hosts to welcome the best athletes of the entire world, regardless of political conflicts, I appeal to you, the world leaders, to support this political neutrality.

Thomas Bach insisted that the IOC must remain a politically neutral organisation ©Getty Images
Thomas Bach insisted that the IOC must remain a politically neutral organisation ©Getty Images

"Let us not abandon this precious unifying mission of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a time when the world needs more solidarity and peace."

The IOC has recommended that International Federations exclude athletes and officials from Russia and its military ally Belarus from their competitions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

At last month's Association of National Olympic Committees General Assembly, Bach said it is "not the time" to change the IOC's approach.

FIFA are among the governing bodies to exile Russia from sporting events, including the men's World Cup in Qatar which it was banned from qualifying for.

Football's marquee tournament is set to begin on November 20 and conclude on December 18.

Infantino believes the meeting between the leaders have the power to strike peace for the World Cup.

"We are not naïve to believe that football can solve the world's problems," the Swiss-Italian official commented.

"We know that our main focus as a sports organisation is, and should be, sports.

"Because football unites the world can be the trigger for a positive gesture.

"Russia hosted the last World Cup in 2018.

"Ukraine is bidding to host the World Cup in 2030.

"Maybe, that the current World Cup starting in five days can really be that positive trigger."

He continued: "So, my plea to all of you is to think on a temporary ceasefire - for one month, for the duration of the World Cup - or at least the implementation of some humanitarian corridors or anything that could lead to the resumption of dialogue as a first step to peace.

"You are the world leaders, you have the ability to influence the course of history.

"Football and the World Cup are offering you and the world a unique platform of unity and peace all over the world.

"So, let's take this opportunity to do everything we can to start putting an end to all conflicts."

Russia's official state news agency TASS reported that Infantino also suggested football's gross domestic product is valued at $300 billion (£253.8 billion/€288.6 billion) and could increase by another $200 billion (£169.2 billion/€192 billion) or $300 billion if the rest of the world produces "at least half" of Europe’s production.