World Cup 2018: US warns of terror attacks in Russia
Even though it did not qualify for this year's Fifa World Cup currently underway in Russia, the US has warned its citizens of potential terror strikes during the tournament in a travel advisory, advising people to reconsider visiting the host country.
The US State Department said in its travel advisory issued on Friday, June 16, that "large-scale international events such as the World Cup present an attractive target for terrorists".
The travel advisory further said: "Although security for the World Cup will be extensive, terrorists may seek to attack event locations such as stadiums and Fan Fest viewing areas, tourist sites, transportation hubs, and other public venues."
Washington, however, did not point out at any specific threat to the tournament which took off on June 14 and will go on till July 15.
The US has the most number of supporters in Russia for the ongoing tournament after those of the host country despite the fact that the US narrowly missed out from qualifying for this edition after losing to Trinidad and Tobago in October last year.
US has most number of WC supporters in Russia after hosts
According to an ESPN report, the beginning of the last week saw Russian fans having bought 871,797 tickets while those from the US buying 88,825 tickets - the second most - after the sale started last September. Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Peru - all from the Americas - ranked therafter.
The US State Department's advisory to the Americans travelling to Russia is aimed at extending security against possible harassment and extortion from law-enforcing agencies besides terrorism is general.
The US, however, had its moment of joy in Russia this year when they were awarded the joint hosting rights for the 2026 edition of the quadrennial tournament along with Canada and Mexico - two of its neighbours with who it is having a serious trade war at the moment.
Though football world cups haven't seen any terror attacks so far but such attacks at major sporting events is not unprecedented. In 1972, a Palestinian group had massacred 11 Israeli athletes during the Olympic Games in Munich in the then West Germany.