UK military to 'support counter-terrorism measures' at Qatar 2022 World Cup

UK military to 'support counter-terrorism measures' at Qatar 2022 World Cup
The UK Ministry of Defence announced in a statement on Sunday that Britain's airforce and navy will support security measures in Qatar during the 2022 World Cup.
2 min read
30 May, 2022
Doha will host the final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup [Getty]

The UK military will support Qatar with security operations during the 2022 World Cup, according to a British Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement published on Sunday. 

The Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy are expected to provide counter-terrorism policing at the world's biggest football event, including "advance venue search training, operational planning and specialist advice", according to the MoD statement. 

The military assistance comes as part of a longstanding partnership between the UK and the Gulf state which involves joint squadrons that regularly fly together in Qatar as well as numerous weapons and training contracts totalling £6 billion. 

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"Making sure citizens from across the world can enjoy attending the World Cup, Britain and Qatar will join forces to provide air policing in the skies above the tournament," said UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.  

The Joint Typhoon Squadron, known as 12 Squadron and made up of RAF forces and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) personnel, are set to be deployed in Doha in November as part of "pre-planned" operations.  

The UK military said they will draw on experience from the 2012 Olympic Games. 

The announcement follows Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's visit to London last week.

The emir met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the trip and invited him to the World Cup, in November and December. 

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Morocco is also boosting Qatar's security capabilities during the highly-anticipated sporting event, according to Doha News. 

The North African country agreed to send a team of cybersecurity experts to the Gulf state following a request from Doha for assistance.

The head of Morocco’s intelligence agency went to Qatar's capital last Friday, becoming the first senior official to visit the Lusail Iconic Stadium, which will host the final game of the World Cup.