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Qatar set to purchase 118 tanks to prepare for 2022 World Cup

Jul 14, 2013, 11:57 AM EDT

Qatar WC

Qatar is set to purchase 118 Leopard tanks and 16 tank howitzers from Germany in preparation for hosting the 2022 World Cup.

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag made the announcement Sunday claiming the oil-rich nation will pay several billion dollars to German defense manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and defense tech group Rheinmetall.

The deal comes after the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel approved the initial purchase of 62 Leopard tanks and 24 howitzers this past spring.

Arms exportation has long been a sensitive issue in Germany. After World War Two, West German and united German governments placed tight restrictions on arms exports, especially to regions where there were armed conflicts or which had poor human rights records.

Over time, however, restrictions have laxed and now Merkel’s opposition in the upcoming Chancellor election set for this September, Social Democrat Peer Steinbrueck, is claiming that if he wins he will put the clamps on the current arms export surge.

As to Qatar, the decision to ramp up security appears to be a reactionary move to the increasing number of violent incidents surrounding world football, and, in particular Brazil, as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup next June.

More: Brazilian soccer match ends in brutality 

  1. 711bolt - Jul 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    It looks as if they are preparing for war Instead of a soccer tournament so why then would you even think about having the tournament there in the first place. Small kid ask his father hey dad what are those things ? Oh those are tanks an howitsers but what are they for ? They are to protect us in case trouble breaks out what kind of trouble ? you know starting fires turning cars over and throwing rocks an such cool.

  2. fubar77 - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    As I read this the same question popped into my head. If you need heavy military style weaponry to defend an event, perhaps you shouldn’t been allowed the chance to host said event. shm

  3. sailbum7 - Jul 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    It does seem to be a bit overkill to be buying heavy weapons for security of a soccer tournament. Maybe they should rethink the idea of having the tournament in such an unstable, violence prone region.

  4. quizguy66 - Jul 14, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Dodging Cannon Fire in 130 degrees = Best World Cup Ever!

    Bang up job FIFA.

  5. mvktr2 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    I fully agree, having tanks and armored vehicles used in ‘civilian’ policing is wholly unacceptable and no country which practices such injustice should host a WC. Therefore I fully oppose having a WC in the United States of America.

    Does it make a difference that US law enforcement paint ‘Police Rescue Vehicle’ on military weapons used to police subjects of the US state? When paramilitary troops burst into your home pointing automatic weapons at your children is it ever defensible?

    • midtec2005 - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      You will probably get made fun of for those comments… but the sad part is that you’re right.

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