Browsing 'world cup 2022' News

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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?

EverSoccer

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Seoul-based company has been awarded a $16.2 million contract to design Qatar’s Al Thumama World Cup stadium.

Heerim Architects and Planners Co. announced the agreement in a stock exchange statement this week, according to Zawya.

The South Korean firm has previously designed a stadium used by UEFA in Azerbaijan in 2015 and the main stadium for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.

Heerim Architects and Planners Co.

2014 Asian Games Main Stadium in Incheon

The Qatar contract was awarded by the main contractor on the Al Thumama project, which is a joint venture between Al Jaber Engineering and Turkish firm Tekfen Construction.

The $342.5 million stadium, located between E-Ring and F-Ring roads, is expected to host matches up to the quarter-final stage.

It will seat some 40,000 fans, and like several other Qatar stadiums, be dismantled to accommodate half that many people after 2022.

Other stadiums

Qatar is currently readying eight stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. It will complete its first venue, the renovated Khalifa International, next month.

Others won’t be done until at least 2020. That includes Al Thumama and two other stadiums whose designs have yet to be finalized.

Qatar 2022 Bid Committee

Lusail Stadium rendering, as submitted by Qatar during bid process.

The most anticipated one is the Lusail Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament.

In 2015, officials announced that British firm Foster + Partners would work with sports and stadium experts including ARUP and Populous to create the final design for the arena.

It will be an “iconic, contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture,” the head of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) Hassan Al Thawadi said at the time.

SCDL

View from the upcoming Ras Abu Aboud stadium

Meanwhile, the Ras Abu Aboud stadium is also still being designed. It will be located on a waterfront and when completed, face the Doha skyline.

Global architecture firm Populous is also working on the design for that venue, the SCDL said on its website.

Additionally, the main contractor for the Ras Abu Abboud project is expected to be chosen by June of this year.

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Construction workers eat at the Khalifa Stadium

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

World Cup organizers are teaming up with medical experts in Qatar to examine and better understand the health of their workers.

Some 1,000 employees are being studied as part of a new pilot program launched in February by Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

The goal is to identify common health challenges such as high blood pressure, blood sugar issues and dehydration, and see if better nutrition can help, WCM-Q said in a statement.

Construction workers eat at Khalifa Stadium

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Khalifa Stadium mess hall

After conducting health checks, the college will launch awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of balanced diets.

Working with contractors

It will also work with catering companies and contractors to recommend revised food options that take into account the health of the employees.

A detailed report will be sent to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL).

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

But they only employ a fraction of workers in Qatar, and the hope is that other companies in the country will also take the findings to heart, researchers said.

In a statement, Dr. Javaid I. Sheikh, Dean of WCM-Q, added:

“This initiative represents an exciting opportunity to tackle a global problem, that of nutritional deficiencies amongst migrant workers.

Through this initiative, we therefore not only hope to better understand the specific nutritional needs of workers in Qatar, but also to educate them about diet so they can pass this knowledge on to their families when they return home.”

Migrant health

According to the United Nations, health is a human right.

SCDL

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

And expat workers particularly from developing countries face greater health risks than non-migrants.

This is for a variety of reasons, including that:

  • They may come from nations with poor health systems;
  • They work in industries that have higher occupational risks;
  • Health regulations are not strictly applied on the job; and
  • They may lack access to local health systems.

Developing preventative programs, such as the one WCM-Q is launching, is a good step toward ensuring worker well-being, the UN added.

Worker deaths

Such programs may also help Qatar officials address another problem that’s been on the rise – the so-called mysterious deaths of young construction workers.

In December, Al Jazeera reported that a rising number of Nepali expats around the world have been dying in their sleep or of heart attacks.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Many of the dead were young men who headed overseas to do physically demanding jobs in hot climates.

According to a former Nepal ambassador to Qatar, 55 percent of Nepali migrant workers deaths in Qatar are the result of “sudden” cardiac arrest.

Meanwhile, some 20 percent are from work-related accidents, 15 percent from traffic accidents and 10 percent from suicide, Suryanath Mishra said.

Speaking in 2015, he urged officials to “properly and urgently” investigate Nepali deaths in Doha. He added:

“In general, it is due to tension led by exploitation, adverse climate, poor working and living conditions and alcoholic intoxication.”

Numbers up for debate

Though nearly 90 percent of its population is comprised of foreigners, Qatar’s government does not publish annual breakdowns of migrant deaths.

However, according to figures that it shared with the UN earlier this year, only 35 expats were killed while on the job in 2016.

SCDL

Al Wakrah stadium site

That includes one Nepali man who was struck by a water tanker while working on the Al Wakrah Stadium site.

Meanwhile, some 547 people were seriously injured in falls, from mishaps with heavy equipment and “accidents involving a crush.”

The numbers do not take into account, however, the types of possibly health-related deaths that Mishra highlighted.

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