World Cup fans in Qatar caught committing minor offences such as public drunkenness will escape prosecution, a diplomat and a person familiar with Qatari briefings to foreign police told Reuters.
This is under plans being developed by authorities in the conservative Muslim host nation.
While the policing strategy for the competition has yet to be finalised, organisers have told diplomats and police from qualified countries they intend to show flexibility for relatively minor infringements.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is billed to kick off in less than two months from now.
The signals from this development reflect the delicate balance which Qatar is trying to strike.
Qatar is a tiny Arab state where many follow the same puritanical school of Sunni Islam as in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The balance is now between respecting religious traditions and accommodating the raucous exuberance of more than a million visiting football fans.
Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, however did not respond to a request for comment.
“Increased leniency pleases the international community, but comes with the risk that it might upset conservatives inside the country,” another Western diplomat said.
Organisers have not publicly clarified their approach to policing, and many embassies have warned fans they face punishment for behaviour that would be tolerated elsewhere.
“Remember, while you’re in Qatar, you are subject to local laws,” U.S. diplomat Morgan Cassell said in a YouTube video.
According to Qatar’s legal code, freedom of expression is restricted, homosexuality is illegal and sex outside marriage is outlawed.
Public drunkenness can incur a prison sentence of up to six months.
Also, some things considered benign elsewhere like public displays of affection or wearing revealing clothes can be grounds for arrest.
“Arguing with or insulting others in public could lead to arrest.
“Activities like protests, religious proselytising, advocacy of atheism and criticism of the government of Qatar or the religion of Islam may be criminally prosecuted here.
“That applies to your social media posts, too,” Mr Cassell said.
However, organisers already intend to relax Qatar’s strict laws limiting the public sale of alcohol, and will allow beer to be served near stadiums a few hours before matches kick off.
Informally, they have also told police from European countries which have qualified for the tournament and some diplomats in Doha to expect police to show flexibility in enforcing other laws.
These include drunkenness or public disorder.
“Minor offences won’t result in a fine or arrest, but police will be instructed to go to a person and ask him or her to comply…
“Someone who removes a T-shirt in public will be asked to put his T-shirt back on. There is some sort of tolerance,” said the person familiar with Qatari briefings of several European police sending officers to Qatar.
While Qatari authorities have not confirmed this approach, special legislation taking effect during the tournament gives Qatar’s World Cup security chief significant leeway in tackling violations of Qatar’s laws.
The security chief, known as the Gold Commander, can in coordination with authorities take decisions, including how to treat “acts in violation of the provisions of the laws in force in the country”.
Several diplomats said police, based on what World Cup organisers told diplomats in a briefing a few months ago, plan tougher action when the safety of people or property is under threat.
Fans who commit such acts, like using flares or fireworks which could cause damage, or being involved in a fight —- even where there are no serious injuries —- can expect to face fines and cancellation of their “Hayya card”.
The card is the permit to enter Qatar and access stadiums.
It was not clear whether fans who forfeit their Hayya card would be given a deadline to leave the country, or would be detained for deportation.
Security is just one challenge facing Qatar, the first Middle East country to host a football World Cup and the smallest nation to do so.
With a population of less than three million people, it will host an influx of 1.2 million fans —- an unprecedented challenge for the Gulf Arab state.
To help the policing effort, organisers have invited each qualified country to send at least four police officers to be on the ground in Qatar during the World Cup.
They will be based at a Ministry of Interior command centre and around the capital Doha to advise their Qatari counterparts.
“They will police it as they see fit…Our job is to say ‘This is how we think you should deal with our fans because that’s what gets the best results’,” said Mark Roberts, Chief Constable of the Cheshire police and the UK’s policing lead on football.
KSU Steelers thrash FUOYE Dazzlers 3-1 to win championship –
The Kogi State University (KSU) Steelers are champions of the 2022 Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) championship after defeating FUOYE Dazzlers of the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti 2-1 in the final on Saturday.
FUOYE Dazzlers followed the footpath of AAUA Luminaries from Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, who became the first South-west institution to qualify for the final of the championship (excluding eFootball season).
AAUA Luminaries reached the final in the 2021 edition of the championship but were defeated 1-0 by UNIMAID Desert Warriors from University of Maiduguri.
KSU Steelers are also debutant in the final having defeated UNILORIN Warriors from University of Ilorin 1-0 in the other semi final.
Just 13 seconds into the game, FUOYE Dazzlers were awarded a penalty for an infringement on their player by Adah Fidelis. However, Dolapo Kolawole slotted it into the net to give the Ekiti contingents a 1-0 lead.
It was long when KSU Steelers responded when Samuel Odutola scored in the fourth minute to equalise to bring his team back into the game.
FUOYE Dazzlers found the back of the net once again in the 25th minute but it was ruled out as the assistant referee raised the flag after the ball went off the line before Dazzlers’ player took the cross.
Three minutes before the halftime whistle, FUOYE Dazzlers goalkeeper Lawani Clinton made a good save to deny KSU Steelers the lead.
The first half ended 1-1 at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Pavilion in Lagos.
After several attempts from both sides for the first twenty-three minutes of the second half, KSU Steelers finally found the back of the to take the lead for the first time in the encounter.
Few minutes later, Odutola grabbed his brace of the evening to double KSU Steelers lead and sealed the victory for the Kogi State institution.
There were more goals in the match as KSU Steelers won 3-1 to become the first State University to win the annual football tournament.
Their captain Suleiman Mohamed scored the goal from a well-played through pass.
Meanwhile, UNN Lions from University of Nigeria Nsukka defeated UNILORIN Warriors 1-0 in the third place match to clinch the Bronze medal.
Lawrence Echere scored the only goal of the encounter in the second half.
HiFL is an annual football tournament involving higher education institutions across Nigeria. It was founded in 2017 and institutions partake in a preliminary round to qualify for the knockout stage.
UAM Tillers from University of Agriculture Makurdi won the inaugural edition of the championship in 2018.
Thereafter, UNICAL Malabites from University of Calabar, LEADCITY Gladiators from Lead University (e-sports edition) and UNIMAID Deserts Warriors have all gone ahead to win the tournament.
FG diversifying sports to enhance youth empowerment: Minister
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, says the federal government will explore all possible avenues for more youths participation in sports to empower them to become self-employed.
“This move is in line with the present administration’s policy thrust, which is geared towards making the teeming Nigerian youths entrepreneurial,” Dare said when he received the executive director of Hand-To-Hand Sports Federation of Moscow, Sorgai Poroshin.
Mohammed Manga, a spokesman for the ministry, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, received Poroshin on Dare’s behalf.
“The ministry will put up workable modalities which will make Nigeria not to only key into programmes by Hand-To-Hand Sports but also open up more doors for our youths’ involvement in the various fields of sports worldwide,” Dare was quoted as saying.
The minister urged Nigerian youths to keep themselves abreast of news about the various policies, programmes and initiatives of the present administration.
He said this would enable them to take advantage of every available opportunity to better their lives.
Earlier, Poroshin said he was in the ministry to introduce the hand-to-hand game to the country.
He said the sport had been in existence in the past 16 years and has 38 countries on its membership list.
“The countries include Ghana, and there is the need for Nigeria to see the possibility of keying into it in view of its position as the giant of Africa.
“Nigeria’s acceptance of the game will further open a new horizon for the country’s youths to make their mark in the group of sports-loving countries,” Poroshin added.
Tears flow as curtain comes down on Federer’s glittering career
Roger Federer’s trophy-laden career ended with defeat on Friday, but for once the result hardly mattered as the Swiss maestro headed into retirement with tears in his eyes and cheers ringing in his ears.
With a sellout crowd of 17,500 at London’s O2 Arena willing him on, the 20-time Grand Slam champion returned after more than a year away to play tennis.
He played alongside Rafa Nadal, the Spaniard with whom he shared one of tennis’s most captivating rivalries.
With the clock past midnight, Federer could have sealed victory in the Laver Cup doubles clash when he served at match point in a tense deciding tiebreak.
But it was not to be as Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe ripped up the script.
Sock thumped a forehand winner and sealed a 4-6 7-6 11-9 win for Team World.
After a brief moment of stunned silence around the packed arena, the crowd rose to salute the 41-year-old Federer, whose elegance, charisma and sportsmanship has graced tennis and transcended sport during a 24-year career.
Federer produced moments of his trademark magic during a fiercely contested duel and kept his emotions in check.
But the tears flowed afterwards as Ellie Goulding sang while a montage of Federer’s feats was projected on the black court.
When he was hugged by wife, Mirka, children Leo, Lenny, Myla and Charlene, and his parents Lynette and Robert, there was hardly a dry eye in the house.
“We’ll get through this somehow. It’s been a wonderful day.
“I told the guys I’m happy, not sad,” said Federer, who announced last week that this would be his final event after struggling to overcome a knee injury.
“I enjoyed tying my shoelaces one more time, everything was the last time,” he added. “Playing with Rafa and having all the greats here, all the legends.”
Federer broke down as he thanked his wife.
“She could have stopped me a long, long time ago but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play, so it’s amazing – thank you,” he said.
Federer’s eagerly anticipated final bow came after British favourite Andy Murray had battled against Australian Alex De Minaur for two and a half hours, but lost.
Murray’s two Wimbledon titles made him a national sporting icon, but the night was all about Federer – a player who resides in the pantheon of sporting greats with the likes of Pele, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
Even his practice sessions here have been standing-room-only affairs, and an electric atmosphere greeted him as he walked out into the cavernous arena alongside Nadal just after 10:00 p.m.
“I’ve done this thousands of times, but this one feels different. Thank you to everybody who’s coming tonight,” Federer posted on Twitter earlier in the day.
The crowd included Australian great Laver – the man who inspired Federer to create the team competition being staged in London for the first time.
Loud cheers accompanied Federer and Nadal, or ‘Fedal’ as they are nicknamed, on to the court and The Clash’s London Calling boomed out as they warmed up.
An even bigger roar went up when Federer punched away a volley in the opening game – his first competitive shot since defeat by Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon last year ended his dream of a record-extending ninth title on Centre Court.
During changeovers video screens showed iconic moments of Federer’s career with tributes from Nadal and his mother.
But this was no exhibition match.
American duo Sock and Tiafoe, pantomime villains for the night, tested Federer’s reactions with some lusty blows aimed at the Swiss maestro.
Federer was equal to pretty much everything, his silky shot-making and nimble footwork on show despite a long time away from the court.
The iconic pair, with a combined age of 77 and 42 Grand Slam titles between them, edged the opening set by breaking Tiafoe’s serve. But The Americans levelled as Federer and Nadal began to fade.
Chants of “Let’s go, Roger, let’s go” resounded around the packed stands in the championship tie break as Federer and Nadal clawed their way towards a victory the occasion demanded.
Even the tennis gods could not intervene to allow Federer one last victory, but nothing could take the gloss off a night to celebrate a player who led tennis into a golden era.
“It still feels like a celebration for me and that’s exactly what I hoped for,” said Federer, who scaled unprecedented heights and rewrote the record books.
“It’s been a perfect journey and I will do it all over again.”
Saraki breaks silence on PDP crisis, states position on Atiku’s candidacy
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki has responded to the PDP crisis that is roiling the party. The former presidential candidate...
Pa Adebanjo backing Peter Obi with ‘Ohanifere’ for selfish interest: Tinubu
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council has criticised the leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, for using the pan-Yoruba...
Saraki says silence best answer to Wike’s temper tantrum in PDP
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki says he’s chosen to keep mum in response to the internal wranglings happening in the...
Netflix Tudum 2022: New Upcoming TV Shows Announced
Tudum 2022 is here in all its glory! Netflix today held its second global fan event and announced all the...
PDP, Atiku best choice for Nigerians – Saraki
Former Senate President and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Dr Bukola Saraki has said that PDP and...
God has not shown me the next President – Kumuyi
The General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible Church Pastor William Kumuyi has said that he has not received any revelation...
Corruption deeply embedded in Nigeria, other African countries: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari says corruption in Nigeria and other African countries was deeply embedded and hampering development in the continent....
Tinubu never offered Wike senatorial ticket – Gov’s aide
Kelvin Ebiri, media aide to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has denied reports that the presidential candidate of the All...
Nwachukwu begs Ayu to step down
The national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, has been asked to voluntarily resign. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, former presidential aspirant of...
PSC: Attack on female police officer barbaric
Naija News Today The Police Service Commission (PSC) has described attack on Insp. Teju Moses, a female Police Orderly attached...
- Big Brother NaijaSeptember 7, 2022
BBNaija: Deji reacts to leaked ‘sex’ video with Chichi
- EducationSeptember 14, 2022
JAMB generates N8.732bn revenue out of proposed N12.132bn from UTME, Direct Entry registration, others
- PoliticsSeptember 2, 2022
27 State Chairmen endorse resignation of ADC’s National Chairman, Nwosu
- ForeignSeptember 16, 2022
Allan Saint-Maximin, Erling Haaland, Mikel Arteta emerges Premier League Goal, Player, Manager of the Month winners
- PoliticsSeptember 7, 2022
Nigeria is not Lagos, Tinubu may lose in north – APC forum
- Big Brother NaijaSeptember 7, 2022
#BBNaija: Deji, Chichi caught having s3x
- PoliticsSeptember 2, 2022
Why i support Wike’s demand for PDP chairman, Ayu resignation – Bode George
- HeadlinesSeptember 2, 2022
Court acquits Jang, Yusuf Pam of criminal charges