Major international sporting events have long been a target for jihadist groups looking to capitalize on these moments to bring attention to themselves, promote their messages, and malign their enemies. At present, there is no other professional athletics competition on the scale of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which takes place from November 21 to December 18. This spectacle has been a focus of hardline Islamists as well as jihadist groups and their affiliates, including, al-Qaeda Central (AQC), al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and the Islamic State (IS) (Akhbar Alaan, November 26). These groups have taken aim at the World Cup, its Qatari hosts, nation-state participants, and even the sport of soccer itself.
I jihadisti condannano il Qatar e i Mondiali di calcio. Retorica ostile (Lucas Webber, The Jamestown Foundation)