US Soccer announced on Friday that the US national men's team has cancelled its plan of travelling to Qatar for a winter training camp in light of the brewing unrest in the Middle East.
The clerical and military leaders have vowed retaliation against the US for the killing of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, at Baghdad airport on Friday. Soleimani, who helmed Iran's expanding military supremacy in the Middle East region, was killed in the airstrike authorized by US President Donald Trump.
"Due to the developing situation in the region, US Soccer has decided to postpone travelling to Qatar for the Men's National Team's scheduled January training camp," US Soccer said in a short statement.
Were set to closed-door games
US coach Gregg Berhalter had called up 25 players for the 20-day sojourn scheduled to begin on January 5, 2020. His side was to play closed-door games at Doha's Aspire Academy before heading home to face Costa Rica in Carson, California, the United States on February 1, 2020.
That game will go ahead as planned, US Soccer said, and they are now working on an alternative schedule to prepare for that fixture.
Hopeful of playing Qatar in the future
"We are working with the Qatar Football Association to find an opportunity in the near future for our team to experience Qatar's world-class facilities and hospitality," US Soccer added.
Qatar will host the World Cup in 2022 and the US kicks off its qualifying campaign in September. The US is desperate to qualify for the Qatar tournament after surprisingly missing out last time in Russia.
(With agency inputs)