Spain refuses Qatar’s request for riot police at World Cup

Spain will not send riot police to Qatar to help safeguard the upcoming soccer World Cup as had been requested by the Middle Eastern country, the Spanish interior ministry said on Friday.

The ministry would not provide any further comment on the decision, and only confirmed an earlier report on Cadena Ser radio, which said Spain had been mulling whether to send around 115 officers to Qatar but ultimately refused. With a population of less than three million – of whom just 380,000 are Qatari nationals – Qatar faces a shortage of personnel as it gears up for the month-long FIFA soccer tournament kicking off on Nov. 20.

Last month, Turkey announced it would send more than 3,000 riot police to help Qatar stage soccer’s showpiece event. Qatar has come under severe scrutiny from human rights groups over its treatment of migrant workers in the run-up to the tournament.

The Spanish team will kickstart their 2022 World Cup campaign against Costa Rica on November 23 before facing Germany and Japan.

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