Spain will not send riot police to Qatar to help secure the upcoming World Cup, as requested by the Middle Eastern country, Spain’s Interior Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry declined to comment further on the decision, only confirming an earlier report by Cadena Ser Radio that said Spain had considered sending about 115 officers to Qatar but ultimately declined. With a population of less than three million – of whom just 380,000 are Qatari nationals – Qatar is facing a staffing shortage as it prepares for the month-long FIFA football tournament that begins on November 20.
Last month, Turkey announced it would send more than 3,000 riot police to help Qatar host football’s flagship event. Qatar has come under scrutiny from human rights groups over its treatment of migrant workers in the run-up to the tournament.
The Spanish team will start the 2022 World Cup season against Costa Rica on November 23, before taking on Germany and Japan.