AFGHANISTAN

Qatar conscripts civilians to secure World Cup stadiums

Qatar has called up hundreds of civilians, including diplomats summoned back from overseas, for mandatory military service operating security checkpoints at World Cup stadiums, according to a source and documents seen by Reuters.
The deployment of conscripts, some of whom would normally defer national service because their work is considered vital, highlights the logistical challenge faced by the tiny Gulf state hosting one of the world’s biggest sports tournaments.
The conscripts are training to manage stadium security queues, frisk fans and detect contraband like alcohol, drugs or weapons concealed in ponytails, jacket linings or even false bellies, according to training materials seen by Reuters.
Qatar has a population of 2.8 million – of which barely 380,000 are Qatari nationals – and expects an unprecedented influx of 1.2 million visitors for the tournament. It already has an agreement with Turkey which is supplying 3,000 riot police.
In early September the civilians were ordered to report for pre-dawn duty at the national service camp north of the Qatari capital Doha, according to order papers seen by Reuters, less than three months before the 29-day tournament kicks off.
The civilians were told they had been called up to assist with the World Cup and that it was their “patriotic duty” to do so, the source said. “Most people are there because they have to be – they don’t want to get in trouble,” the source said.
Some volunteers are also training alongside the conscripted force, according to the source, who has direct knowledge of the plan and the training.
Asked for comment, a Qatari government official said in a statement that Qatar’s national service program would continue as normal during the World Cup.
“Recruits will provide additional support during the tournament as part of the regular program, just as they do every year at major public events, such as the National Day celebrations,” the statement added.
Since 2014, Qatari men aged between 18 and 35 have trained with the military for at least four months as part of mandatory national service introduced by the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Dodging the duty can incur a year in prison and a fine of 50,000 Qatari rials ($13,700).
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will take place from November 20 to December 18 and Afghan fans will not miss out on any of the action.
Ariana Television Network (ATN) in July secured the exclusive rights to broadcast what is undoubtedly one of the greatest sporting events in the world. As such, fans will be able to watch the matches live, in the comfort of their own homes.The post Qatar conscripts civilians to secure World Cup stadiums first appeared on Ariana News.

Source: Ariana News

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