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Islamic State issue sinister message ahead of Champions League quarter-finals

Terrorist group, Islamic State (ISIS), have threatened to attack all four stadiums that are hosting matches in the Champions League this week. The organisation, who have claimed responsibility for the recent terror attack in Moscow, are now suggesting that they are planning on attacking the Bernabeu, Emirates Stadium, Parc des Princes and  Wanda Metropolitano.

In a message published via the Al Azaim Foundation, a mouthpiece for ISIS, the terror group confirmed their new targets. The message depicted an image of all four stadiums with the words ‘Kill them all' spread across them.

Islamic state threaten Champions League matches
Islamic State have threatened to launch a terror attack on the Champions League this week

It is the second time in under two weeks that the terror group have threatened to attack football fans at some of Europe's biggest and most famous stadiums. At the end of March, ISIS-affiliated media outlet, Sarh al-Khilafah, announced that they were planning an attack on the Allianz Arena during the match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

On that occasion, the group published a an image which depicted a red target on people stood outside the Allianz Arena with the words ‘After the game' written in Arabic. Of course, no incidents took place but security was ramped up for the fixture as a result of the threat.

Security increased amid Islamic State threats

Officials from France, Spain and England have confirmed that there will increased security at all four Champions League matches in light of the treat made by ISIS. More than 3,000 security staff have been assigned to the two fixtures taking place in the Spanish capital – Real Madrid vs Man City and Atletico Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund.

Meanwhile, French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin said there would be “considerably reinforced” security measures for the match between PSG and Barcelona on Wednesday. He added:

“I will remind you that only 10 days ago, IS shared a picture of the Munich stadium and said action should be taken against sports venues that host football games – although all sports can be targeted, given how important the Champions League is for football, we are of course talking to our partners.”

emirates stadium
The Emirates Stadium is one of the four stadiums that have been threatened by ISIS – Photo by Icon Sport

In the UK, the Metropolitan Police's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Ade Adelekan said: “We're aware of online and media reports in relation to calls to target matches across Europe and here in London.

“However, I want to reassure the public that we have a robust policing plan in place for tonight's match and we continue to work closely alongside the club's security team to ensure that the match passes peacefully.”

UEFA confirm matches will go ahead

UEFA have also directly acknowledged the threat. A spokesperson said: “UEFA is aware of alleged terrorist threats made towards this week's UEFA Champions League matches and is closely liaising with the authorities at the respective venues. All matches are planned to go ahead as scheduled with appropriate security arrangements in place.”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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