World cup hosts Qatar are bent on delivering a flawless event with control and command centre looking more like NASA Mission Command.
Facing a bank of screens, technicians counting down to the World Cup in Qatar control the temperature, gates, 15,000 cameras and much more in the eight stadiums.
The Aspire control and command centre will monitor all stadiums at once, as Qatar pulls out all the technical stops to keep an eye on the anticipated one million plus visitors from the moment they get off the plane to moment they leave.
Qatar has spent billions of dollars on building seven new stadiums and refurbishing an eighth for the first World Cup in an Arab country. It has seized on the uniquely short distance between them — barely 70 kilometres have (43 miles) separated the two most distant venues— to set up the elaborate virtual network.
Organisers say the control centre, bristling with alarms and sensors, will set a benchmark for global sports events which must guard against terrorism, natural disasters and hooligans, as well as leaking water pipes.
The numbers expected to be milling the streets worry the authorities. More than 3,000 Turkish police will reinforce local security forces, while small groups of police from each of the 32 competing nations will shadow their fans.
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Supporters went through a first filtering when they applied for tickets. Names on a hooligan and fraud blacklist were barred.
Fans will be followed on Doha streets by omnipresent CCTV cameras armed with facial recognition technology. Qatar University experts have developed drone surveillance systems that, they say, will give the most accurate estimates of numbers on the streets.
In the Aspire centre, engineers will watch for air conditioning breakdowns and jams at the ticket gates. An interior ministry command centre that will monitor all streets, buses and metro trains.
Police will move into the centre on match days and will . a key role when t. are up to four games a day, with tens of tens of thousands of fans leaving one stadium and entering another.
“Basically we can open a door or all the doors in a stadium right from .,” said Niyas Abdulrahiman, the organisers’ chief technology officer, standing in front of the screens in the Khalifa Stadium compound.
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