FIFA World Cup 2022 opening ceremony: Final-minute recruits in Qatar spotlight World Cup safety points

Lower than three weeks earlier than the World Cup, Qatar’s match safety committee employed tons of of males, some with no expertise, to work as safety guards tasked with crowd statement inside stadiums, two of the recruits advised Reuters.

The boys from nations reminiscent of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sudan and Indonesia attended theoretical coaching at Qatar’s police school in early November, acquired uniforms and have been deployed to stadium coaching periods for the primary time simply days forward of one of many world’s largest sporting occasions.

A few of the recruits had safety backgrounds, however there have been additionally day labourers, drivers and workplace staff, one of many recruits mentioned.

The final minute preparations spotlight the logistics challenges Qatar has confronted within the run-up to Sunday’s kick-off. The small Gulf state has educated greater than 50,000 folks to offer safety for an anticipated wave of 1.2 million guests from all over the world.

In response to one of many guards, recruits acquired coaching for as much as 10 hours a day on potential crowd management points, together with how one can take care of drunk folks.

“We speak to them to know their well being situation. If he’s okay to stroll, we ship him on his means. If not, paramedic groups take over,” mentioned the guard, who’s tasked with observing 50-100 folks in a piece within the stands, not near the pitch.

He estimates greater than 1,200 folks have been recruited in his cohort – all resident in Qatar.

With a inhabitants of three million – of which round 12% are Qatari nationals – Qatar confronted a scarcity of personnel because it gears up for the month-long FIFA match.

Qatar is the primary Center Jap nation and smallest nation ever to host the World Cup. Whereas it has spent billions of {dollars} on infrastructure, it has by no means organised an occasion on such a scale – which unusually for a World Cup will even be held in or round a single metropolis.

It has known as up tons of of civilians, together with diplomats summoned again from abroad, for obligatory army service working safety checkpoints at World Cup websites.


Qatar already hosts tens of 1000’s of staff employed as safety guards outdoors authorities buildings, college campuses and procuring complexes.

Within the lead-up to kick-off, rights group Amnesty Worldwide mentioned safety guards have been working lengthy hours for months on finish with no time without work.

Qatar has launched labour reforms during the last decade together with limits on working hours, notably through the warmth, however says extra must be completed.

The 2 recruits, who spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned they have been stunned to have been employed simply weeks earlier than the match.

Seven out of the eight World Cup stadiums are model new and have not often skilled giant crowds.

Lusail Stadium, with a capability of 80,000, will host the ultimate on Dec. 18. It has solely held one giant take a look at occasion, with a crowd of practically 78,000.

The guards, who heard concerning the jobs via phrase of mouth and have been interviewed in late October, will monitor sections contained in the stadiums and report any hassle to supervisors.

Any severe issues can be handed to a “particular drive”.

Neither the Qatari authorities nor the Supreme Committee for Supply and Legacy, Qatar’s World Cup organisers, responded to a request for remark.

“When it comes to preparations, since 2010 the Qatari safety and police authorities have been current in any respect main soccer occasions and Olympic Video games,” mentioned a FIFA spokesperson.

“And there have been in depth, internationally accredited coaching programmes carried out in relation to key issues reminiscent of crowd security and management, safety and threat administration, and emergency response to severe accidents.”

The second guard mentioned the recruits can not intervene if there’s a bodily combat and are usually not empowered to arrest folks.

“We is not going to intervene in any form of emergency state of affairs. There may be already different forces for that. Our job is just to watch and report,” he mentioned.

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