World Cup 2022: Qatar draws in multi-nation security force for tournament

More than a dozen nations will help to police the 1.2 million fans expected to attend

The main ticket centre  in Doha for World Cup 2022, with a picture of mascot "La'eeb". AFP
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Qatar is set to begin drills involving thousands of police and personnel from 13 countries who will jointly handle security at the Fifa World Cup 2022.

The host nation, which faces a shortage of personnel, will draft in gendarmes from France and riot police from Turkey, among others.

This weekend, exercises lasting five days will begin.

Qatar is expected to welcome 1.2 million fans, in a country with a population of less than 3 million.

So far, the following countries have confirmed their participation in the security effort for the November 20 to December 18 tournament: Germany, Finland, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the US and the UK.

Who is sending what?

Last week, Qatar's Ministry of Defence announced the Gulf country and the US signed an agreement on countering the threat of unmanned aircraft systems.

In a joint statement, the Qatari ministry and the US Department if Homeland Security agreed to share “lessons learnt and best practices … to help secure [the] World Cup”.

The UK's Ministry of Defence said the RAF and the Royal Navy would help with maritime security support, advanced search training, operational planning and command and control support, and further specialist advice.

The RAF will support counterterrorism efforts through air security operations alongside the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

France said it was sending 191 gendarmes along with de-miners and sniffer dogs to help maintain security.

Nato said also it would provide security support to Qatar, including “training against threats posed by chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials”.

In December, Turkey announced plans to send 3,000 members of its riot police to Qatar. Turkish legislators have agreed to deploy 250 troops and a small warship for six months under Operation World Cup Shield.

It will also be sending chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence experts.

Last month, Pakistan's cabinet approved a draft agreement for the government to offer troops for the tournament.

The Pakistan contingent, comprising army officers, junior commissioned officers and jawans, have already left for Qatar.

Qatar and Italy also signed a deal last month on defence cooperation in preparation for the World Cup.

In July, The National reported that ex-Jordanian soldiers were being offered roles at the tournament.

Spain backed out last week, saying it would not send a planned 115 riot police officers to Qatar, with no reason given.

Extra help on the way

Morocco has also backed sending police reinforcements to Qatar, with local media reporting that several thousand officers could be deployed.

Last month, Reuters reported that Qatar has called up hundreds of civilians, including diplomats summoned back from overseas, to operate security checkpoints at World Cup stadiums, according to a source and documents seen by the news agency.

The conscripts are reportedly training to manage stadium security queues.

CCTV from all eight stadiums will be monitored at a command centre.

Last week, Qatar revealed the security force uniforms. Traffic officers will wear yellow, explosive experts have black trousers and green shirts and field stewards teal jackets. Other uniforms are mostly black, tailored for men and women.

Updated: October 17, 2022, 1:07 PM
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