World Cup 2022: Qatar obliges citizens to provide security

World Cup 2022: Qatar obliges citizens to provide security
Credit: Belga

Qatar has called on hundreds of civilians, including diplomats due to return from abroad, to do their compulsory military service and help provide security at the FIFA World Cup (20 November - 18 December) Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday, based on a source and several documents.

The citizens called up for military service had to report at the beginning of September to a military camp north of the capital, Doha, where they were told it was "their patriotic duty" to help. "Most of them are there because they have to, they don't want to get into trouble," Reuters reported.

Some, however, are participating in the training programme as volunteers.

A member of the government said Qatar's national service programme would continue during the World Cup. "The recruits will provide additional support during the tournament, similar to what they do every year during major public events such as National Day festivities," he said.

According to the documents, the new recruits will be trained to manage queues in stadia, search supporters and detect the smuggling of alcohol, weapons or drugs.

Qatar has 2.8 million inhabitants, of which only 380,000 have Qatari nationality, and will soon be faced with an unprecedented influx of 1.2 million visitors expected for the World Cup. The Persian Gulf state has signed an agreement with Turkey to receive the support of 3,000 police officers.

Since 2014, Qatari men between the ages of 18 and 35 must train for at least four months with the army as part of a conscription imposed by the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

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