Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Security Committee for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 HE Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani has said the Qatar 2022 World Cup will witness the highest levels of security and safety in the history of the game.
In a tweet, the PM said, “Today, we hosted the ‘Last Mile’ conference, which reviews Qatar’s plan to secure the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, in the presence of our allies and friends from all participating countries and international organizations. We signed the joint declaration for this tournament, which will witness, with God’s help, the highest levels of security and safety in the history of the World Cup. “
The PM on Sunday opened the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Security Last Mile Conference at the Intercontinental Hotel Doha.
This conference outlines Qatar’s security readiness to host the World Cup, enhance police cooperation, and follow up on the implementation of security plans and strategies in cooperation with partners at the local, regional and international levels.
The two-day conference, which will see wide local and international participation, is organised by the Safety and Security Operations Committee (SSOC) of the Security Committee of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The event aims to outline Qatar’s readiness to host a safe and secure tournament, and promote greater cooperation between law enforcement bodies in Qatar and the world.
During his opening remarks, SSOC Chairman Maj. Gen. Eng. Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari said the conference is the culmination of extensive coordination efforts between different parties that saw the exchange of resources and expertise between different countries and law enforcement bodies.
He added that the conference provides participants with an opportunity to review security achievements and reaffirm the commitment made by tournament organisers to hold the most secure edition of the FIFA World Cup to-date.
Al Ansari added, “Qatar is ready to host the largest sporting event in the world. Our country enjoys the highest levels of security, bolstered by a world-class police service. Qatar ranks first in all global security indicators, including an exceptionally low crime rate. Our ability to host safe large-scale events was proven most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we were able to successfully manage a number of health and security measures simultaneously.”
Al Ansari continued, “Our security abilities were proven in exemplary fashion when Qatar hosted the FIFA Arab Cup in 2021. During the tournament, we proved our security, logistical and organisational readiness by testing our abilities to organise a safe and secure World Cup.”
Al Ansari said this week’s conference constitutes a major milestone as it represents the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup, which will be held from 21 November to 18 December. The importance of the event, according to Eng. Al Ansari, was reinforced by the caliber of workshops and discussions shedding light on preparations, including a thorough assessment of different scenarios and the best way to deal with them.
“With only months to go until the tournament, we felt it was necessary to organise a conference that brought together security experts from the sports industry alongside participating countries to discuss and agree on practical plans for the event,” Al Ansari added.
He said the conference will witness the signing of the Joint Declaration of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on exchanging information between Qatar, as the host country, both participating and non-participating countries, and relevant international organizations.
It will also witness the activation of the International Police Cooperation Centre (IPCC), which coordinates procedures and the exchange of information between representatives of international police agencies of qualified countries, representatives of international organizations, and countries participating as observers to enhance safety and security during the tournament.
Qatar’s readiness to host the FIFA World Cup was also proven during the “Watan” simulation exercise which saw security, civil and military authorities from Qatar engage in a number of dummy exercises and training programs in participation with regional and international countries. He also renewed Qatar’s welcome to everyone and its keenness to cooperate with all parties.
FIFA’s Director of Security Helmut Spahn stressed that the level of integration and partnership that has been achieved with the FIFA Security and Safety Operations Committee for Qatar 2022 reassures that the tournament will be delivered to the highest safety standards.
Spahn added that Qatar has spared no effort in building comprehensive international cooperation, something that FIFA has been very supportive of from the start.
Spahn explained that the establishment of the IPCC is a major achievement, and that data-sharing agreements have also been signed to prevent troublemakers and hooligans from entering the country.
Additionally, training and capacity-building partnerships have been strengthened through a number of memoranda of understanding signed between Interpol, the European Union and a number of other parties.
He also pointed out that FIFA’s human rights requirements have been integrated within all SSOC work mechanisms as part of a comprehensive working relationship with the FIFA security team. Spahn also reiterated that the plans put in place between tournament organizers have been adopted by key partners.
When taking all the efforts made by Qatar into account, Spahn confirmed that FIFA is confident that the country will deliver a safe and secure tournament for all participants.
Since being established in 2012, the SSOC has been working closely with FIFA, said Spahn. He praised the teamwork and tireless efforts made by Qatar. He also pointed out that none of the achievements would have been possible without the high level of preparedness from the authorities in Qatar, and without the collective work of international law enforcement bodies.
Spahn confirmed that participating in this conference less than 200 days before the start of the tournament confirms the importance of coordination and cooperation between international law enforcement bodies.
He also pointed out that each host country faces its own set of security challenges as was seen in recent tournaments in Germany, South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
In conclusion, Spahn expressed his gratitude to the SSOC for providing this opportunity to be under one roof with such a large number of representatives from governmental and international bodies.
The first day of the conference also saw the signing of the joint declaration on the IPCC between Qatar and a number of countries and relevant organizations participating in the conference with the aim of exchanging information.
Signing on behalf of Qatar was Eng. Abdulaziz Abdullah Al Ansari, SSOC Chairman, Brigadier Ibrahim Khalil Al Mohannadi, Head of the Legal Affairs and Communication Unit, and Colonel Khalid Ali Al Kaabi, Deputy Head of the Legal Affairs and Communication Unit.
The opening of the conference was attended by a number of ministers, senior officials at the Ministries of Defense and Interior and ambassadors accredited to the state, with the participation of more than 40 delegations from the qualified countries, international and regional organizations and guests of the country.