In the evening of January 5th, 2015, the world’s attention turned to Doha that dazzled everyone with an opening ceremony described as unique.
While everyone was enjoying the event, there was a group of men, working in the shade, both within the hall or outside the ceremony, or even on the road, performing their important role for the security and safety of the spectators: they were the men of “Lekhwiya”.
Qatar Internal Security Force was established by a decree of the Amir in 2003, and carries several security roles. It has become Qatar shield against all threats that may impend over the country thanks to an internal security force trained and equipped with the latest technology to face some challenges such as counter-terrorism.
Lekhwiya Force was a key partner for the success of the World Handball Championship in 2015, where it assumed responsibility for securing the championship in coordination with other security authorities.
The security plan that applied during that tournament was not born on the spot: its features had begun two years before the beginning of the event, by the formation of a high level Security Committee comprising all the security institutions which developed a distinct plan. This plan was one of the most important success factors in the tournament.
It was the participation of Lekhwiya force in number of tournaments hosted by Qatar over the past years which gave it the necessary expertise to manage all sporting events. The force was recognized as the best security provider in the 2006 Asian Games, and such tournaments undoubtedly allowed the people who work in them to accumulate experiences.
The distinctive feature of this security plan, which constitutes in itself a mini rehearsal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup plan, is that it was practiced in “Super Globe” championship as well as in the Asian Championship for clubs that have been hosted by Doha before this tournament.
The security plan was based on the principle of coordination between security and civil authorities, so that there was no difficulty in communicating with each other and there was no interference from the International federation. In the meantime, the Security Committee continued, in liaison with Interpol, to follow the International Federation requirements which had to apply in the security plan. This also took the form of the allocation of a liaison officer serving as a link between the Security Committee and the fans from each country, thus having a positive and rapid impact on the acceptance of the security instructions given by an officer from the same nationality.
Some specific tools were also developed for the event.
The Security Committee used a special system for the issuance of the participants’ passes gate in the tournament, the first of its kind in the world, through a special Internet website. This provided the opportunity for the participating teams, federations and members of the organizing committee to apply electronically to the event, thus having an easy and quick access to the gates and a follow-up of their admission in the arena.
A special program for the issuance of special permission to enter the tournament, which was under responsibility of Lekhwiya force, has been implemented. It has drawn the appreciation of the International Handball Federation, which suggested using it during next tournament to be held in France.
In the Handball Championship, the security role of Lekhwiya was not confined to its presence in joint committees to coordinate and contribute to the flow of work as required between the various units and departments. Lekhwiya also accomplished numbers of logistical missions and ensured the security of the Committee during the tournament. Moreover, the medical team from the Lekhwiya clinic provided some medical services during the event.