Thousands of Turkish police to be stationed in Qatar for FIFA World Cup 2022

Turkiye will supply over 3,000 police officers to Qatar ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022, to help with security at stadiums and hotels in the country, Reuters has reported.

Under the protocol signed between the two countries, Ankara will deploy 3,000 riot police and 100 special operations police to Qatar. The squad will also include 50 bomb specialists and 80 sniffer dogs and riot dogs, Reuters said.

Qatar is expecting over 1.5 million visitors for the international tournament, which will run from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

“With a population of less than 3 million – of which just 380,000 are Qatari nationals – Qatar faces a shortage of personnel as it gears up for the month-long FIFA soccer tournament,” Reuters said.

The small nation has “turned to” Turkiye, its closest regional ally, to assist with security arrangements. The security operation will be paid for by the competition hosts but will function under the Turkish command, a Turkish Interior Ministry source said.

“During the tournament, Turkish police will only take orders from their Turkish superiors who are serving temporarily in Qatar,” the Turkish source said, adding “the Qatari side will not be able to give direct orders to the Turkish police,” however all expenses of the personnel deployed will be covered by Qatar.

The source did not specify who would have ultimate oversight of Turkey’s security operation, which will cover the eight stadiums where matches are taking place and hotels where the 32 national soccer squads will stay, Reuters said.


Image, top, from 1 May 2017, Istanbul, Turkiye. Turkish police on duty for May Day parade in Istanbul. Photo © Thomas Koch / Shutterstock