As we approach the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia next year, there are inevitable potential security threats that come with the volume of people attending the biggest sports spectacle in the world.
However, concerns for the safety of the players, fans, and spectators alike has increased with the release of disturbing photoshopped images of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group with players, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar.
The posters, released by a pro-ISIS group, depicts images of the players in execution poses with the World Cup logo on it. In one poster Portuguese player, Ronaldo kneels bruised with a jihadist holding a knife behind him, with the title reading “Our words are what you see, NOT what you hear. So, just you wait, we are waiting too.” Another poster shows Argentine player, Messi beheaded and Brazilian player, Neymar on his knees crying with a terrorist standing behind, knife in hand.
These horrific images are being taken seriously by Argentina Football Association, who held a meeting with Russian ambassador over safety concerns.
The matches are to be played in 11 Russian cities, leading up to the final match in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The second largest city is no stranger to terrorist attacks, the most recent occurring in April where ISIS attempted a suicide bomb threat.
Warning: The following pictures may be disturbing to some viewers.
El Estado Islámico (EI) ISIS continua con sus amenazas y la guerra psicológica al mundial de Rusia ahora usando imágenes de Neymar y Messi pic.twitter.com/NI8faPWa5m
— DxVIDA (@DxVidabolivia) October 30, 2017
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) October 30, 2017