US international Dest quits Ajax training camp in Qatar over safety fears

January 10 – Ajax’s United States international right-back Sergino Dest has left his club’s training camp in Qatar because he does “not feel comfortable”  amid rising political tensions between the US and Qatar’s neighbour Iran.

On Saturday, the US Soccer Federation postponed a men’s training camp in Qatar because of “developing tensions” in the region following the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani on the orders of Donald Trump.

Dest, 19, was born in the Dutch city of Almere but has an American father and chose to represent the US in October. He has won three caps.

“Sergino Dest has asked if he could leave Ajax’s training camp in Qatar,” Ajax said in a statement. “He didn’t feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it.”

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag added: “Sergino felt uncomfortable since a few days and so we are talking about the well-being of a player. That’s why we gave him permission to fly home.”

When Ajax flew to Qatar, according to ESPN, they opted for a private plane rather than a commercial flight so they could fly over Egypt and Saudi Arabia rather than over Iran and Iraq.

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