USMNT defender Sergino Dest has asked to leave Ajax’s winter training camp in Qatar due to the ongoing tensions in the Middle East.
Dest, 19, requested to return to Amsterdam as the Dutch-American right back “didn’t feel comfortable” being in the region and Ajax revealed he will leave the camp.
The Dutch giants released the following statement confirming that Dest will return to the Netherlands to train with their reserve team while they continue their training camp and play two friendlies in Qatar during the Eredivisie winter break.
“Sergino Dest asked if he could leave the training camp of Ajax in Qatar. He didn’t feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it. The right back returns to Young Ajax in Amsterdam.”
Iran launched missile attacks on army bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq late Tuesday, as tensions continue to rise following an American drone strike which killed the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s powerful Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani.
The USMNT were due to be at a training camp in Qatar this week but called it off at the last minute due to the escalation in the situation between the U.S. and Iran in the region, and this was understandably playing on Dest’s mind while he was in Qatar, which is located just across the Persian Gulf from Iran.
There is almost three years to go until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off (remember, it’s a winter tournament) and a lot could change between now and then but plenty of nations around the world, and FIFA, will be keeping a very close eye on this situation.
However, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter recently said he was ‘hopeful’ they would return to train in Qatar before the 2022 World Cup.