'He didn’t feel comfortable': American Ajax defender Sergino Dest quits club's Qatar training base amid US-Iran tensions
American international Sergino Dest has left club team Ajax's training camp in Qatar early following the increase in tensions between the United States and Iran.
Dutch-born Dest, 19, who has represented the US men's national team three times, is currently having a breakthrough season with the Amsterdam giants, featuring more than 20 times for last season's Champions League semi-finalists in all competitions so far this term while also making his international debut this past September.
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However, the Dutch side revealed in a statement posted to their official website on Thursday that Dest had requested early leave from the team's Winter training base in Qatar due to a rising risk of violence in the region.
"Sergino Dest has asked if he could leave Ajax's training camp in Qatar," the club announced in a statement. "He didn't feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it."
Sergiño Dest verlaat trainingskamp #Ajax.#MidSeason 🔋— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) January 9, 2020
Last week, US Soccer announced that they were postponing a training camp in Qatar due to "developing tensions."
This comes following the United States' strike against Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani last week. The Iranian authorities have since responded with attacks on Iraqi military bases housing US military personnel.
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Dest's decision to leave Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, is the latest incident of a US sportsperson reconsidering competing in the region due to the United States' dispute with Iran.
On Thursday it was reported that golfer Bryson DeChambeau is considering withdrawing from a lucrative event in Abu Dhabi for fears over his personal safety.