Thursday, 26 October 2017

Pro-ISIS Group threaten 2018 World Cup with poster of Lionel Messi crying blood

Wafa Media Foundation, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) group, have released a poster threatening to bring terror to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia that features an image of Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi crying blood.

Argentina‘s ambassador to Russia, Ricardo Lagorio, has reassured fans that next year’s World Cup will be safe.

The image features the tagline "Just Terrorism" underneath the image of Messi, who is depicted behind jail bars and wearing a jump suit with his name on it.

The poster also delivers a warning that "you are fighting a state that does not have failure in its dictionary."

As noted by Marissa Payne of the Washington Post, this is not the first piece of ISIS propaganda making reference to the World Cup.

Others have showed the tournament logo exploding into two pieces accompanied by phrases that include "we are the one who chooses the battlefield" and "I swear that the mujahideen's fire will burn you, just you wait."

Per Payne, the terrorist group also made threats to both the 2016 UEFA European Championship and the 2017 Women's UEFA European Championship, though both tournaments passed without any attacks.

The World Cup is scheduled to begin on June 14 next summer, with 12 stadiums and 11 different cities to host matches. The final will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15.

Argentina‘s ambassador to Russia, Ricardo Lagorio, has reassured fans that next year’s World Cup will be safe, after the threat.

The image is very strong,” Lagoria said of the poster to TyCSports.

The first thing I want to send is my support to Messi and his family because it’s very unpleasant. He’s the main person affected from this brutal and painful image.

I have no doubt that the Russian government and the Russian [football] federation will fully guarantee the safety of the World Cup, of the fans and of the tourists. I would like to call for calm and to ask people that will come from all over the world to do so without concerns.

For us, the World Cup begins on Nov. 11 and it will start in peace,” Lagorio said. “We have to call for calmness. The aim [of latest pro-ISIS propaganda] is to frighten people but all the Argentinians that intend to come should come to the World Cup and do so without fear.

I reiterate that the Russian government will guarantee the safest possible World Cup, where people can come without worrying about safety.

Lagorio says the Argentine Football Association (AFA) has not contacted him following the pro-ISIS group threat.

We have not had a call from the AFA,” he said. “No one is exempt from a terrorist attack and the Russian government and its [football] federation is well aware of that as are other countries.

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