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Ajax’s U.S. defender leaves Qatar training camp amid Iran tensions


Sergino Dest. Photo: TWITTER/AJAXYA

United States right-back Sergino Dest has left Ajax’s training camp in Qatar because he did “not feel comfortable”, the Dutch club has said.

It comes amid rising political tensions between the U.S. and Qatar’s neighbour Iran.

Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani was killed at Baghdad airport in an air strike ordered by US President Donald Trump.


Iran retaliated by firing missiles at air bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq.

On Saturday, U.S. Soccer postponed a men’s training camp in Qatar – which will host the 2022 World Cup – because of ‘developing tensions’ in the region.

Dest, 19, was born in the Dutch city of Almere but has an American father and chose to represent the U.S. in October. He has won three caps.

“Sergino Dest has asked if he could leave Ajax’s training camp in Qatar,” Ajax said in a statement yesterday. “He didn’t feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it.”

Dest will return to Amsterdam to train with Ajax’s reserve team.

Meanwhile, Gareth Bale will not be leaving Real Madrid in January and is “unlikely” to leave this summer, according to his agent Jonathan Barnett.

Bale’s contract at the Bernabeu runs until 2022 and despite being close to a move to China at the start of the season, he is now set to stay at Real.

The Wales winger has been linked with a return to his former club Tottenham.

Barnett says Bale is “going nowhere,” this month despite previously saying he “was not ecstatic” at Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old was close to leaving for China last summer, while he has endured a difficult season with Madrid’s supporters booing him after posing with a flag that read: “Wales, golf, Madrid, in that order.”

He joined Real from Tottenham in 2013 for a then world-record fee and has won the Champions League four times since moving to Spain.

Real are currently in Saudi Arabia competing for the Spanish Super Cup and will play Barcelona or Atletico Madrid in the final after beating Valencia 3-1 on Wednesday.

Bale missed the Valencia win with a chest infection and has been ruled out of Sunday’s final.


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