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'Qatar World Cup'

Al Rayyan TV/Twitter

Riot police on display at 2014 National Day parade

As part of preparations for the 2022 World Cup, security forces in the country are learning how to manage the hundreds of thousands of fans expected to attend the tournament.

As part of their training, the Armed Forces and military police have recently completed their first unit on riot control.

QNA reports that the four-month course focused on developing skills to deal with crowd control, stadium security and rules about dealing with riots.

Navin Sam / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

There were also sessions on different types of weapons and gear used by riot police, as well as control and arrest techniques.

The training was held at the Military Police School. It attended by members of the Emiri Land Forces Command, several military police commenders, members of the Joint Special Forces Group and the Emiri Border Command.

Foreign assistance

The government didn’t specify who was conducting the training sessions.

But over the past few years, Qatar has partnered with various police forces in Canada, France and the UK to help improve its ability to manage large crowds and maintain order before the tournament.

Help aside, Qatar already has strong riot prevention protocols in place within the country.

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Riot police arrive in buses to the Sheraton Hotel in 2014.

For example, a big fight broke out in 2014 between construction workers and security guards at the under-renovation Sheraton Doha hotel. At the time, four buses of riot troops responded to the scene.

While protests are rare in Qatar, authorities take them very seriously due to the high number of construction workers in the country.

Thoughts?

QFA/Twitter

Qatar loses to Iran

Barring a miracle, Qatar’s national football team will not be playing in next year’s World Cup in Russia.

The team suffered a 1-0 loss to Iran last night in a home game defeat attended by thousands of fans.

This means Qatar is now at the very bottom of its six-team group, behind China and Syria. Iran meanwhile has moved to first place.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Only the top two teams in the group will automatically qualify for the 2018 tournament.

‘Bad situation’

Acknowledging the implications, Qatar Coach Jorge Fossati told AFP he hadn’t yet done the math, but “for sure we are back in a very bad, bad situation.”

Competing in Russia had been an important goal for Qatar, whose team has never qualified to play in the World Cup.

QFA

Qatar football coach Jorge Fossati

Qatar will automatically get a chance to participate in 2022 because the nation is hosting that tournament.

But in recent history, no team has ever not earned its first chance to compete beforehand.

Rollercoaster

The road to Russia has been a rollercoaster of a ride for the national team, which suffered three straight losses last fall (including to Iran in September).

Spirits were low then, but went up again after Qatar beat Syria in October.

QFA

Qatar and Syria match

Now however, with only four points and a handful of games to go, things look very dire.

The disappointment was palpable last night, when the home crowd booed Iran coach Carlos Queiroz off the field as he blew everyone a kiss, according to AFP.

Thoughts?

SCDL

New trees at SCDL nursery

World Cup organizers in Qatar are urging businesses and residents to donate any trees they remove from their homes and workplaces instead of throwing them out.

The rescued trees will then be used to green stadium sites ahead of the 2022 tournament, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) announced in a statement.

The process works like this: A resident contacts the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) for help in removing a tree.

Bijan choudhury/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Officials there get in touch with the SCDL, who asks the resident if they’d like to donate the plant instead.

The goal is to rescue thousands of trees in the coming years.

Qatari resident Abdulaziz Al-Taleb has donated the very first tree, which now lives at the site for the upcoming Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

It, like all other transplanted trees that go up on World Cup sites, will sport a plaque with the name of the family who made the donation.

Nursery

Since all the stadiums are not slated for completion until 2020, many of the rescued trees are being taken to the SCDL’s nursery in Al Shamal.

So far, some 5,000 trees have been granted a new lease on life there.

SCDL

Tree and grass nursery for landscaping around World Cup stadiums

Another 16,000 trees are being imported from Asia and Europe in the coming weeks, the SCDL added.

Yasser Al Mulla, senior manager of the committee’s Landscape & Sport Turf Management, said:

“Our motto is give one, take one. When we receive a tree from a private home, we give a young Sidra tree in return.”

In keeping with the green theme, the nursery will also grow and harvest swathes of grass. They will be equivalent in size to around 168 football pitches each year.

These will be used by contractors on the precincts of the World Cup sites, the SCDL said last year.

Thoughts?