The Gulf Arab state faces a huge logistical issue ahead of the upcoming tournament. Their current population is estimated to be around 2.8 million – for comparison, each of the previous nine hosts had a population of at least 50m.
Around 1.2m tourists are expected to arrive in Qatar during the World Cup. With this extreme influx of visitors in a short period of time, they could be left highly underprepared to cope.
Now, the Qatari government has called in measures to deal with the issue. According to The Guardian, hundreds of civilians are being conscripted for military service. This comes after the country made an agreement with Turkey, in which they will provide 3,000 riot police.
The conscripts are being trained on stadium security. They will be in charge of organising queues and searching fans for banned items, such as alcohol, drugs, and weapons.
Four months of military duty has been mandatory in Qatar since 2014 for men aged between 18 and 35. Avoiding the service carries a possible one-year prison sentence as well as a fine of 50,000 Qatari rials.
The first game of the World Cup is now just under eight weeks away. The competition kicks off at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, which holds a capacity of over 60,000.
However, there are fears that some venues aren’t ready to host a major tournament. The first test run of the Lusail Iconic Stadium – which is due to hold ten games – was a complete disaster, with the exhaustion of the water supply and lack of bathrooms cited as key flaws.
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