World Cup qualifier: ISIS planned attack on Israeli team

After ISIS planned attack, Albanian soccer turns to FIFA with a request to change the location of Albania’s upcoming match against Israel.

Neri Weiss ,

Soccer (illustrative)
Soccer (illustrative)
Flash 90

The Albanian Football Federation turned today to International soccer umbrella organization FIFA with a request to change the location of Albania’s upcoming World Cup qualifying match against Israel to the Elbasan Arena near Albanian capital Tirana.

FIFA and the Israel Football Federation gave their agreement to the step; the game will now be moved from the Shkoder Stadium to the Elbasan Stadium. Elbasan benefits from proximity to the capital, making it easier to guard against security threats.

The unprecedented step by the Albanian federation comes after an ISIS-affiliated ring was arrested last week in Albania on suspicions that they were planning a terror attack against the Israeli team and their professional staff.

From reports in Albania, it emerged that the arrest of the suspects, all of whom were Muslim, came after Albanian security forces were tipped off by the Mossad about a potential attack against the Israeli team.

The Albanian Football Association has turned to Albanian fans with a request not to show anti-Israel signs at the game and avoid provocations; any spectator who does not respect the protocols of FIFA will be ejected from the stadium and likely fined.