DOHA: The Qatari-based sports security operator ICSS is making a number of staff redundant as it reorganises in its continuing pursuit of a role within the industry writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Local reports in Doha quoting unofficial sources close to the company claimed that up to 20 staff were being made redundant because of budget cuts.

ICSS, while conceding job losses, responded that the numbers affected remained undecided.

The grandly-entitled International Center for Sports Security was set up by Qatari specialist Mohammed Hanzab in 2010 amid the Qatari outreach propelled by the surprise success of the bid to win host rights to the 2022 World Cup.

Initially it brought on board top ‘names’ in the security industry such as the likes of Lord John Stevens, former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Group ceo is Michael Hershman, the co-founder of Transparency International.

The apparent reluctance of majorevent organisers to involve a private company in domestic security operations led to a change of emphasis after the ‘signing’ of Chris Eaton who had been security director of world football federation FIFA.

Eaton and his department applied their expertise to the sphere of sports corruption, including notably matchfixing on behalf of major south-east Asian betting rings.

Eaton and ICSS are understood to have parted company early this year.

ICSS published a statement of its own in response to a report circulated worldwide by the Reuters news agency.

It said:

Following a story published by Reuters on 27 April 2017, the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has made the following statement:

“In order to strengthen our work in the field of sport safety, security and integrity, in 2016, the ICSS undertook a comprehensive review of its organisational structure and portfolio of services.

“Like most proactive organisations, the ICSS needs to continually adapt its resources in line with its overall strategy and with market dynamics in the sport safety, security and integrity sectors. Following on from the conclusion of this review, the ICSS has restructured and is currently reorganising and, as part of this, we can confirm that some roles across the ICSS Group have been affected.

“Contrary to some reports, no final decision has been made yet on the number of roles affected. The ICSS can also confirm that there has been no change or cuts to its budget from 2016 to 2017 and that any changes to roles are as a result of the ongoing reorganisation of departments.

“Recognising that this is a difficult period for staff who are leaving the organisation, the ICSS aims to provide appropriate support to staff who are affected during this transition period.”