Attica native serving on United States’ safety staff at World Cup in Qatar

Soccer has lengthy been a part of Casey Shearing’s id.

The Attica native started taking part in in seventh grade, competed in a nationwide event with Monroe Group Faculty and nonetheless holds goalkeeping data at Indiana College of Pennsylvania, however she by no means thought she’d be part of the game on its largest stage.

Shearing is serving as a federal safety particular agent in Qatar alongside america Males’s Nationwide Workforce on the World Cup.

“It is mind-blowing,” mentioned Shearing, now in her mid-40s, a number of days earlier than the US’s first match of the World Cup on Monday towards Wales. “I by no means thought for 1,000,000 years I’d be on this place doing this sort of work.”

Shearing, who now lives in Virginia, is a part of the US Division of State’s Diplomatic Safety Service, which has an everyday presence at large-scale sporting occasions just like the Olympics and the Tremendous Bowl.

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Her particular task in Qatar is to behave as a conduit with three different brokers for about 300 relations and associates of the US staff’s gamers and workers, in addition to main US Soccer donors.

Whereas she could have minimal interplay with US gamers themselves, Shearing mentioned she’s going to attend and watch their matches with the followers she’s overseeing as a part of her work. Her keep will final till 48 hours after the US is eradicated.

Casey Shearing, proper, laughs with a member of US Soccer whereas making ready for the World Cup in Qatar.

US Division of State photograph

As family and friends started to trickle in days earlier than kickoff, Shearing described an “anxiousness of the unknown” amongst first-time international vacationers but in addition a way of pleasure for a younger and decided males’s nationwide staff.

“Lots of people are fairly enthusiastic about how this staff will do,” Shearing mentioned earlier than the US tied Wales 1-1 in its opener. The US will play a high-profile group stage match at 2 pm Friday towards England, which whipped Iran 6-2 in its first conflict of the event.

Shearing’s work doesn’t middle on mingling. She is performing as a liaison between US Soccer, the DSS and the Joint Operations Heart, a multiagency name middle that connects authorities organizations just like the FBI, ICE and TSA with one another and with Qatari authorities officers and regulation enforcement. The overarching purpose is stopping violence at a world occasion or reacting swiftly if an assault happens.

“We plan for each contingency that would presumably come up,” Shearing mentioned, emphasizing the significance of her staff’s coaching in threat administration and mitigation.

She predicted an acclimation interval can be wanted for Individuals and world soccer followers experiencing an Arab tradition for the primary time, and he or she was unsure how guests would react to Qatar’s strategy to alcohol – which isn’t being served throughout World Cup video games.

“This can be a nation that does not cope with a consuming tradition very regularly,” Shearing mentioned.

Germany’s gamers coated their mouths throughout their staff photograph forward of their sport towards Japan on the World Cup. The gesture follows FIFA threatening sanctions towards any participant who wore a “OneLove” armband on the World Cup.

She known as Qatar – which she has heard pronounced each “kuh-taar” and “cutter” since arriving – the nicest Center Jap nation she has visited, which isn’t a small praise given her wide-ranging travels for DSS work.

She marveled on the “sheer quantity of effort that goes into infrastructure and logistics” to host a world event that includes 32 international locations that runs almost a month from Nov. 20 via Dec. 18.

“Being on the bottom at first kicks off, it is insane in each little bit of a great sense,” Shearing mentioned. “It is simply a lot. It is spectacular that Qatar has the power to deal with such issues the place a rustic comes collectively and pulls off an enormous occasion like this. It is simply awe-inspiring.”

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Whereas in Qatar, Shearing wish to meet Cindy Parlow Cone, the president of america Soccer Federation and a member of the 1999 US Ladies’s World Cup championship-winning staff. Although greater than twenty years have handed, Shearing vividly remembers following the nation’s run to win the World Cup that 12 months at a time when soccer was tougher to seek out on tv channels or web streams.

“The ’99ers – I nonetheless bear in mind each single one in all them, I bear in mind performs within the video games,” Shearing mentioned.

She can’t imagine that she is now a part of a World Cup.

“This can be a dream for me,” she mentioned.

Ben Tsujimoto may be reached at, at (716) 849-6927 or on Twitter at @Tsuj10.


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