Set against the backdrop of Kenyan massacres and Iraqi insurgency, FIFA is concerned that Islamist militants may not be giving Brazil 2014 their full attention. Despite wall-to-wall TV coverage, there is a growing suspicion that some of the world’s population are choosing not to embrace footballing worship and are instead favouring revolution, seventy two virgins and a ‘nice game of croquet’.
Although the World Cup cost well in excess of $14 billion, Sunni militants seem more obsessed with Baghdad than the melodious prose of Phil Neville. New technologies such as vanishing foam, goal-line sensors and improved corruption have failed to distract Jihadists from their ultimate goal of ‘keeping Wayne Rooney off the front page’. Even a prize money totalling $576m and the lure of the percussive caxirola, does not seem to have dented the extremists’ love of all shoot outs, except penalties.