The biggest threat to the FIFA 2014 World Cup is currently Germany, but the FIFA 2022 World Cup is already in danger from the Islamic terrorist group known as ISIS. ISIS, short for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also sometimes known as ISIL, is a growing threat in the Middle East. Recently al-Qaeda members defected to join this group and as the dissident rebel factions join together the group becomes more and more powerful.
Their main goal so far has been to topple the governments of Syria and Iraq but they are taking the time to also secure their future. While they have actually made headway in Syria by taking over villages in Northern Iraq and attracting the military attention of the Syrian government, this threat is long term. The group is said to have issued a very polite threat to the head of FIFA warning him not to hold the world cup in Qatar in 2022 or it will be in danger of action from ISIS. Their basis is that Qatar, by then, will no longer be an independent kingdom, but will become part of what is to be known as the Islamic State. Ambitious as the goal may seem, it should be seriously considered given the media attention already on Qatar’s bid for the World Cup.
Holding the World Cup in Brazil this year was a tenuous enough decision. The World Cup was seriously threatened by construction delays and street protests in Brazil. Though it is going on now it is not without its problems. The head of FIFA might not have time to take this threat seriously right now, but he would be right to do so as the message is spreading virally through social media. ISIS has its own forum on the Internet known as alplatformmedia.com where the message was first posted but it quickly went viral on many other platforms and websites.
ISIS is quickly becoming not only a current terrorist threat, but a virtual thinktank. Their plan is that by the year 2022 they will have taken, by force or other means, the entire Middle East. They mean to join all the countries and kingdoms into one state known as the Caliphate. The Caliphate is short for the rule of Caliph Ibrahim bin Awad Alqarshi which is the entire name of ISIS leader Al Baghdady. Football is considered a distraction from Islam so their reasoning is that not only will Qatar not exist, but where it once was will be a place with a soccer fatwa.
The tone of the threat was surprisingly incredibly polite. It was addressed and ended with gratitude for listening, but it would be an international blunder not to take this group seriously. Their attacks have already had high civilian casualties and has the United States government keeping a wary eye on them. It may seem years from now but the FIFA 2022 World Cup is already in danger in many ways, not just from ISIS.
The threat is also backed up by the already damning security assessment on Qatar’s bid for the FIFA 2014 World Cup. Not only are the blisteringly hot temperatures a large concern, but the kingdom’s human rights history is not exactly promising either. Temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit which would make soccer impossible, so Qatar has been under scrutiny. This threat to the 2022 FIFA World Cup from ISIS is already a danger.
By Sindhu Reddy