On 13 March 2023, EUAM Iraq organised a high-level seminar for commanders and senior officers of the Iraqi police and security services, authorities, and different stakeholders on major events management. The event took place at the Al-Rasheed hotel in Baghdad in close collaboration with the Iraqi Minister of Interior.
The high-level seminar aimed to discuss lessons learned from three major football events in a comparative way in order to be even better equipped for policing major (sports) events in the future.
The event was the biggest of its kind organised since the Mission's creation in 2017, bringing together more than 200 senior security staff from all over Iraq.
The opening speeches were given by the Adviser to the Minister of the Interior, Major General Zeyad Taha and EUAM Iraq's Head of Mission, Anders Wiberg.
In his speech Anders Wiberg commented:
Despite challenges, Iraq, the Ministry of Interior and Basra really stepped up for this event. We witnessed a good degree of professionalism and advance preparation from the Iraqi authorities. He went on to add: As police officers - both in Europe and in Iraq - we spend our lives training and trying to improve and fine-tune our policing approach. We take seriously our duty of care to ensure a safe, peaceful and professionally managed event, whether a sports event, protest, or a pilgrimage. In order to improve our performance every time, we make sure to debrief well, learn the necessary lessons, and incorporate what we have learned into our future training and planning. We also have to continuously and swiftly adapt our institutions to respond to evolving technologies, environments and threats that impact the management of large-scale events of the future.
Three keynote speakers were featured: on behalf of the President of the Iraqi Football Association, keynote speaker Ghalib Al-Zamil, opened the floor giving a detailed explanation of the 25th Arab Gulf Cup in Basra, one of the most important sporting events in the region. He also addressed the challenges faced by the organising process related to the massive crowd crawling to attend matches despite the stadiums being unable to accommodate these crowds.
EUِAM Iraq's Senior Strategic Adviser Hans Moors addressed the difficulties faced in organising the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, which took place at the Stade de France Stadium in Paris. The match's kick-off was delayed due to excessive attendance and the lack of alternatives and pre-match security measures.
The representative of the organising committee for the World Cup Qatar, besides the stadium security, Ahmed Al-Ghanem, talked about the methods used in organising the World Cup, how to protect the teams, logistics support, systems and security equipment, and providing the required numbers of people to secure all about the Qatar World Cup. Also, the use of the "Hya" card in the championship theatre as well as transportation movement, and reaching out to support logistics.
Finalising the day with a discussion panel, the keynote speakers were joined by three key stakeholders of the Iraqi security forces from Basra. On the photo below from left to right: Lieutenant General Rasheed Fleih, Major General Mahmood Abultemen and Basra Police Chief Major General Qasim Rashid.
They talked about the important role that the security services played in maintaining security before, during and after the Gulf 25 Championship, and cooperating with everyone in displaying the championship in the best way despite the unprecedented public attendance.
EUAM Iraq's Senior Strategic Adviser Hans Moors, project leader of the event and keynote speaker, summarised the event as follows:
The day has been a great success. It is very important to exchange lessons learned on a base of equality because we all face similar challenges organising major events all over the world.
Media coverage of the event:
Al Rasheed channel video coverage