Egypt withdraws from Qatar’s Fina World Championships

Egypt will not send a team to next month’s International Aquatics Federation (Fina) World Swimming Championships (25m), which is being staged in Qatar.

The Middle East nation will stage swimming’s premier short-course meeting on December 3-7, with 170 countries set to take part.

A statement from Fina released to the Associated Press news agency said that the governing body “regrets the Egyptian Swimming Federation decision not to take part”.

Egypt becomes the third nation to withdraw from a Qatari-staged sporting event over the past week. Bahrain and the UAE decided to boycott the Men’s Handball World Championships, although Egypt remains set to compete in the tournament that begins on January 15 next year.

Although no official reason was given for either decision, the political situation between Bahrain, the UAE and Qatar remain tense due to uneasy diplomatic relations. Earlier this year, Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recalled their respective ambassadors from Doha in protest at the country’s apparent support for Islamist groups across the region.

Doha was awarded the 2014 World Swimming Championships (25m) by Fina in April 2012, replacing Catania as host city. Catania lost its staging rights to the event in November 2011 after the Italian Swimming Federation withdrew its support due to the country’s economic crisis.