• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

IAEA Provides Nuclear Security Support at FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar

Vienna, Austria

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has provided Qatar with equipment and training to support the country’s efforts to prevent a nuclear security incident during the 2022 World Cup Championship. The Agency has worked with Qatar’s National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW) over the past year to build its capacity to thwart any attack involving nuclear or other radioactive material.

Any such attack during the World Cup – a championship of 64 matches held over 29 days, in 8 stadiums – could have severe consequences on people and the environment.

The IAEA works with countries around the world in enhancing security of nuclear and other radioactive material that could otherwise be used in a terrorist act.

In the run up to this year’s World Cup, the IAEA has helped Qatar integrate nuclear security measures in its overall plans developed to tackle security challenges at such a large-scale event.

“Football is a unifying sport enjoyed by billions throughout the world,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. “Fans attending the games in Qatar deserve to do so without concerns about nuclear security.”

 IAEA and other international experts provided comprehensive training to national counterparts on developing and implementing nuclear security measures and on responding to nuclear security events and related emergencies. As part of its technical support, the IAEA loaned over 120 radiation detection instruments – including personal radiation detectors, radionuclide identification devices and portable backpack type detectors – to Qatar.

It was the first time such equipment was shipped to the host country of a major public event from a nuclear security support centre in Malaysia, where the IAEA has stationed equipment to facilitate the provision of training and support on nuclear security for major public events in the Asia and the Pacific region.

“The Agency’s experience in supporting nuclear security measures at major public events was adapted to the Qatari needs,” said Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security. “The deployment of the equipment loaned to Qatar was done in the most cost-effective and timely manner by the use of the regional loaner pool.”

The IAEA has provided nuclear security support to Member States for major public events over the last two decades. First supporting Greece with nuclear security arrangements for the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, the IAEA has worked with 43 countries to counteract potential nuclear security threats. Most recently, the IAEA supported Costa Rica in its nuclear security efforts for the Women’s U-20 Football World Cup in August 2022, as well as Egypt as the host country of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in November 2022. 

Related resources

Stay in touch