FIFA World Cup 2022 Last Mile Security Conference Supports Qatar and INTERPOL Project Stadia

FIFA World Cup 2022 Last Mile Security Conference Supports Qatar and INTERPOL Project Stadia By Darlene Regis - May 24, 2022
FIFA World Cup 2022 Last Mile Security Conference Supports Qatar and INTERPOL Project Stadia

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Last Mile Security Conference Winds up Agreeing on Continuation of Project Stadia between Qatar and INTERPOL

The activities of the Last Mile Security Conference for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 continued for the second day in a row, as the last day of the conference witnessed the signing of an agreement between the State of Qatar and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to extend cooperation for (Project Stadia), which was established by Interpol in 2012, with funding and support from the State of Qatar, with the aim of serving countries wishing to host major sporting events. 

On behalf of Qatari side, Chairman of the Security and Safety Operations Committee of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Maj.  Gen. Eng. Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ansari, and on behalf of the INTERPOL, Stephen Kavanagh, Executive Director of Police Services, Interpol signed the agreement.   

Like that, a joint declaration on the International Police Cooperation Center also was signed between the State of Qatar and a number of countries participating in the conference. 

During the signing ceremony, Stephen Kavanagh expressed his thanks and appreciation to the State of Qatar for the efforts it has made over 10 years in supporting the Stadia project, stressing that the project was capable during this period to enhance cooperation and joint planning to confront international challenges in the field of sporting events. 

“The bonds of communication between the State of Qatar, FIFA, the World Health Organization and other relevant international bodies and organizations were also strengthened and continuation of this approach in the coming years will contribute in achieving the highest levels of security and safety at the international level”, the Executive Director of Police Services at INTERPOL said.    

In a statement to the media on the sidelines of the agreement signing ceremony, Falah Al-Dosari, Director General of the Stadia Project said that the agreement to extend the cooperation between the State of Qatar and INTERPOL is an affirmation of the efforts made by the two sides over the past years. 

Al Dosari also underlined that the State of Qatar was able to train and qualify its national cadres at the highest level, which made the Stadia project guided by Qatari cadres and nominate them to participate in international sporting events, to benefit from the knowledge earned by the law enforcement agencies in the State of Qatar in securing these major events; This was confirmed by the 10-year experience, during which a large number of Qatari national cadres were graduated as international experts in securing sporting events. He also added that all the data indicate that the upcoming World Cup will be the safest and most secured one.

In addition to this, the great role played by the State of Qatar, not only in supporting the Stadia project, but also in providing the international community with the experiences it has gained in this regard, a strategic role that would enhance the efforts of the international community in facing the challenges of major tournaments and sporting event, Stadia managing director pointed out.

He also clarified that the success of the Stadia project was a catalyst for the signing of the extension agreement for a period of two years ending in 2024 due to the urgent need for such a project that works to leave a common international legacy, and we are sure that future international tournaments will benefit from it. 

“During the conference, a number of participating countries expressed their hope to extend cooperation between the State of Qatar and Interpol for more than two years, which indicates the insightful vision of the Qatari leadership, which discovered the international need for this project long before today and the INTERPOL would like to extend beyond 2024, but before that we have to develop plans and work on that” Al Dosari added. 

The first session of the second day of the Last Mile Security Conference for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, discussed the experience of the Stadia project in securing major events over 10 years, in which Falah Al-Dosari, Director General of Project Stadia spoke about Interpol's tasks in the areas of combating terrorism and cyber threats, and addressing emerging crimes. He also presented an overview of Stadia Project as an inspiring experience in assisting member states in planning to host major sporting events. 

Presenting the paper, he explained that the Stadia project, with the support of the State of Qatar, was able to create a database that would enhance security and safety procedures, and assist law enforcement agencies and relevant authorities while planning and implementing major events. 

During the speech, he referred to the bonds of cooperation between the Stadia project and a number of countries that organized and hosted important events during the past few years, including the last World Cup. He also talked about the procedures and measures that the Stadia project will take in the coming years, including the signing of memoranda of understanding to enhance international security tracks, through empowerment and training, and exchange of experiences and information gathering among member states.

For his part, Michael Humann from the University of Liverpool addressed the risks and threats facing major sporting events, and how to address them by benefiting from the international information and experiences collected through the Stadia project, in a unified information guide, to help countries prepare for major events in a manner that adapts to international standards, and how to benefit from these experiences to reach the highest levels of security, protection and provision of services to the masses.

He also explained that the Stadia project contributed to enhancing trust and communication between organizers of previous and potential sporting events, and setting standards that would verify the status of the organization and evaluate it in a professional and independent manner.

“The information guide would enable the countries of the new hosts to understand the challenges that await them, and to benefit from the reports of twenty years of international experiences of the previous organizers. The State of Qatar, through this course of preparations, joined the group of international experts that can be benefited from in this field” Michael Humann said.

The second speaker, John Main talked about the experiences of many countries in dealing with riots that accompany sporting events, especially those organized in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, and the pressures that resulted from this on law enforcement agencies, and how these events were dealt with.

During his presentation, he underlined on the importance of providing the authorities and countries participating in the major tournaments, the local authorities in the host country with the behaviors expected from the fans. The correct approach is to prevent riots before they occur, by studying indicators of public behavior, and investigating through the concerned authorities to collect information that prevents security challenges and provides the highest levels of security and safety, he added. 

The third speaker was Adrian Dinca who spoke about the European Community's experience through the International Information Center concerned with crowd control. He also mentioned about the European legislation in this field, the tasks and list of members of the European Council, and the parties concerned with benefiting from this information. He also addressed the challenges and difficulties that accompanied the last European Nations Championship and the media strategy directed to the masses, which must accompany major sporting events.

He also stressed that through the Stadia project, the group seeks to expand outside Europe and provides this experience to all. He expressed his happiness with the Qatari experience in the field of communication and international police cooperation.

Additionally, Colonel Khaled Al Kaabi spoke about the importance of the IPCC in exchanging information and creating a safe environment for fans attending Qatar 2022, and Brig. Khalil Ibrahim Al-Mohannadi, Head of the Legal Affairs and Communication Unit delivered a comprehensive presentation that summarized key findings of the Conference. 

The two day conference concluded with final remarks by Maj. Gen.  Eng. Al Ansari, who reaffirmed Qatar’s readiness to host a safe and secure tournament – one that is open to everyone and he invited fans from around the world to enjoy the tournament while learning about the country’s culture and heritage.

By Darlene Regis - May 24, 2022

Leave a comment