Strasbourg (France): The Council of Europe and Qatar on Monday signed a technical cooperation agreement to secure Qatari stadiums hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with a budget of 600,000 euros ($744,546), and to comply with an European convention on sporting event security enacted last year.

The agreement was signed in the French city of Strasbourg between the Council of Europe's deputy secretary general, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, and the Qatari representative to the council, Brigadier Ibrahim al-Mohannadi, reports Efe. "The Council of Europe's unique legal instruments are pivotal in today's sports' world. We are glad that our normative action is considered so relevant by the State of Qatar," Battaini-Dragoni said.

The initiative aims to ensure Qatar can safely host both the World Cup in 2022 and the IAAF Athletics World Championships in 2019 by adhering to the European Convention on Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports events. In a statement, the Council of Europe detailed that the two sides would co-operate on "fact finding visits, comparative analysis of legal frameworks, information seminars and workshops strengthening safety management, international police cooperation and dialogue with supporters."

Al-Mohannadi stated: "The safety and security of all participants of the FIFA World Cup Qatar is of the utmost importance to us," adding that Qatar aimed to provide "a unified approach to safety, security, and servicing during the tournament." Effective November 1, 2017, the convention has been signed by 30 European Council member states, while six countries have ratified it.

IANS