Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Argentina's Ambassador Assures Safe World Cup in Russia

Andrei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

As an Islamic State (IS) poster of an Argentinian footballer crying blood circulates the web, Argentina’s ambassador to Russia said the 2018 World Cup will be safe to visit next summer, ESPN reported Thursday.

The poster, released Oct. 24 by a pro-IS media outlet, depicts Lionel Messi behind bars crying tears of blood. The caption next to his face reads, “You are fighting a state that does not have failure in its dictionary.”

Ambassador Ricardo Lagorio responded to this terrorist attack threat by reiterating that the World Cup will be safe and that football fans should not be afraid to visit Russia during the tournament in June and July 2018.

“The aim [of the 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,” Lagorio said.

“I would like to call for calm and to ask people that will come from all over the world to do so without concerns."

Argentina qualified for the international tournament earlier in October. Its national team will travel to Moscow for an international friendly at Luzhniki Stadium on Nov. 11 against the host nation.

IS, a terrorist group banned in Russia, has claimed responsibility for several attacks on Russian territory since the group came to prominence in Syria and Iraq three years ago.

“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,” Lagorio said.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.