England fans at Qatar 2022 could face death penalty if caught with cocaine

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England fans could face the death penalty if they are caught smuggling cocaine to the World Cup in Qatar.

The super-strict country makes “no exceptions” for foreigners found to be breaking the law and takes a particularly hard line on drugs.

And Three Lions supporters are being warned they could face “arbitary arrest” if they are caught near others who are doing drugs – even if they don’t possess any themselves.

Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chief Council’s lead for Football Policing, admitted cocaine use is thought to be a “factor” in an increase in bad behaviour at matches.

And he warned that UK police are working with officers in Qatar to monitor any potential drug-smugglers lining up sales for the World Cup.

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He said: “Any fans seen to be misbehaving could also be subject to a football banning order on their return to the UK, as well as being arrested and potentially charged for offences committed in Qatar.”

Radha Stirling, head of Detained in Doha and Due Proc-ess International – an organisation that helps Brits banged up abroad – said:

“Visitors are at serious risk of arrest if they partake in drinking or drugs.

“They also face arbitrary arrest if the police cast a wide net and target those in the vicinity of other individuals who are arrested, or if they are falsely accused by other attendees.”

Expatica says: “Authorities make no exceptions and foreign embassies are generally powerless to intercede on their citizens’ behalf when it comes to drug laws in Qatar.”

Traffickers risk the death penalty, while other punishments include jail and fines up to £44,000.

The FA has also put together a guide warning fans – who will all be members of the England Supporters Travel Club – to stay away from drugs during the competition, which starts in November.

A note on its website says: “There is zero tolerance for drugs-related offences.”

  • England Football Team
  • World Cup
  • Qatar

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