The US men’s soccer team won’t travel to Cairo for an exhibition match against Egypt on February 9 because of political upheaval in the most populous Arab country.
“All parties agreed it was best to cancel the match,” US Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement yesterday on the federation’s website.
Opposition groups in Egypt are seeking to unseat president Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for almost 30 years. Protestors want an end to corruption and repression and an improvement in living standards in the nation of 80 million people. Demonstrators have called for a national strike and a million-person march in Cairo today. The week-long turmoil has left as many as 150 dead.
The US State Department yesterday began the evacuation of 1,200 Americans from Egypt after urging its citizens to leave the Middle Eastern country as soon as possible and to avoid travel there.
The next exhibition game scheduled for the US men’s soccer team is against two-time world champion and fifth-ranked Argentina, on March 26 at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Three days later, the US will host Paraguay in Nashville.