USMNT calls off Qatar training camp amid rising Middle East tensions

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter (Credit: Getty Images)

The United States Soccer Federation has called off a training camp for the US men’s national team in Qatar this month “due to the developing situation in the region.”

The move follows the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassim Suleimani, who was killed by an American drone strike at Baghdad airport on January 3, an incident which has sparked fears of possible retaliation against US citizens.

There is not believed to be any current threat in Qatar, but US Soccer has taken a safety-first measure. According to Yahoo Sports, several US Soccer staff members had already travelled to the country and are now scheduled to fly home.

A 25-player squad was due to train at Aspire Academy in Doha from January 5-25 ahead of a friendly against Costa Rica in Carson, California, on February 1. The trip was also intended to help familiarize USMNT with the country ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

“Due to the developing situation in the region, US Soccer has decided to postpone traveling to Qatar,” the federation said in a statement. “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 announced that USMNT will now train at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, from January 6.