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10 June 2015

INTERPOL holds first expert group meeting on sports safety and security

DOHA, Qatar – Global experts in sporting event security gathered in Qatar to discuss and share best practices to address and mitigate potential threats facing major sporting events.

The two-day (9 and 10 June) meeting brought together 12 representatives from eight member countries with the aim of providing concrete recommendations on strengthening physical security capabilities and improving the formulation and implementation of security architecture for major sporting events.

The meeting was held under the auspices of INTERPOL’s Project Stadia, which is funded by Qatar and will culminate with the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The project also entails the creation of a centre of excellence in physical, personnel and cyber security for major sporting events which will also provide INTERPOL member countries with a repository of consolidated best practices.

“Project Stadia's first Sports Safety and Security Expert Group meeting sets a precedent by reviewing a selection of insightful success stories and case studies from major sporting events around the world,” said Michael O’Connell, INTERPOL’s Director of Operational Police Support and Head of Project Stadia.

“This group’s recommendations will ultimately provide a significant resource for member countries hosting such events in the future on crucial challenges and strategic countermeasures in the realm of physical security,” he added.

“The organization of this important event in cooperation with INTERPOL will draw on the experience of security experts from across the world, and assist Qatar's continued preparations for a successful and safe tournament in 2022,” said Colonel Mohammad Al-Sulaiti, Executive Director of Security Department of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

“By looking into best practices from major sporting events across the world, it will provide a platform for global expertise exchange which is accessible to everyone around the world, thereby helping countries across the world host sporting events in a safe and secure environment.”

Countries represented at the meeting: Brazil, France, Germany, Gabon, Qatar, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America. The expert group will meet on an annual basis until 2022.