Sunday 22 April 2018

Fifa ignored secret briefing on ‘high risk’ of terror attack at Qatar World Cup

The World Cup.
The World Cup.
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

FIFA ignored a terror briefing warning that there was a ‘high risk’ of a terror attack should the World Cup be awarded to Qatar.

The gulf state was the only one of nine countries bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups which was determined to be ‘high risk’.

The secret report was handed to Fifa 18 days before awarding Qatar the tournament.

The leaked report warned that the tournament could face cancellation should a terror attack occur, according to The Sunday Times who saw the secret report.

It was written by Andre Pruis, the South African police chief in charge of security at the 2010 World Cup and FIFA's security consultant for the current World Cup in Brazil.

In the report Pruis acknowledged he only had time for a "very limited threat assessment", based largely on US anti-terrorism information.

"The terrorism threat against Qatar relates to its location -- its proximity to countries with inter alia (among other issues) an al-Qaeda presence," the briefing said.

He identified several large infrastructure projects as potential targets, and warned that the proximity of key venues to each other presented problems of overlapping security zones, of crowd control and traffic.

"In view of the risks related to the centralised approach, Qatar is allocated a risk rating of high," he said.

"I am of the view that it would be very difficult to deal with a major incident in such an environment without having to cancel the event."

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