As a testament to its readiness to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the country successfully managed a preliminary international football tournament that occupied two stadiums in February 2021.
Six international soccer clubs competed in the weeklong 17th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 tournament: Al Duhail Sports Club, Qatar; Al Ahly Sporting Club, Egypt; Football Club Bayern Munich, Germany; Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, Brazil; Tigres de la Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL), Mexico; and Ulsan Hyundai Football Club, South Korea.
Education City Stadium, which opened in 2020, and Ahmed bin Ali Stadium provided the venues for the tournament. Bayern Munich won the title by defeating Tigres UANL in the final match.
Although Qatar’s security agencies did not expect large attendance, they prepared as if tens of thousands of fans would follow their teams, taking advantage of the event to test their readiness for the larger 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Club World Cup tournament had been scheduled for December 2020 but was delayed by COVID-19.
Qatar has hosted training programs in skills such as crowd management, major incidents response and behavioral pattern detection. The country has drawn on the expertise of foreign partners. For example, U.S. Central Command included a stadium security scenario during the Invincible Sentry 21 exercise in Doha in the spring of 2021.
“The outbreak of coronavirus disease has posed many challenges, but we were able to overcome them through optimal use of information technology by activating the distance learning platform to stay in touch with all trainees to ensure continued qualification and training processes to secure FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” said Maj. Abdul Rahman Hamad Al Suwaidi, one of the training supervisors. Sources: FIFA, Al Raya