Chaos in Cairo Forces United States, Egyptian National Soccer Teams to Postpone Exhibition Game

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Political mayhem in Egypt is not only affecting its citizens, but it is now spilling over into international sports.

The exhibition game between the U.S. National Soccer Team and the three-time reigning African champion Egypt scheduled for Feb. 9 has been canceled and will be made up Dec. 13 once turmoil in Cairo settles.

“We were excited about the opportunity to play against Egypt, but due to the current situation all parties agreed it was best to cancel the match,” U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said Monday, reported by the Associated Press. “We appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian Football Association and the U.S. State Department as we worked through this situation.”

Last week the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) postponed league matches scheduled for the weekend.

The teams have not played each other since the first round in the 2009 Confederation Cup, which the U.S. won, 3-0. Egypt is ranked No. 10 in the world while U.S. is No. 18, according to FIFA rankings.

Egyptian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah of War in Context discussed how athletes are reacting to the turmoil.

“The ultras — the football fan associations — have played a more significant role than any political group on the ground at this moment,” said El Fattah. “Maybe we should get the ultras to rule the country.”

Team USA’s friendlies against Argentina in East Rutherford, N.J., on March 26 and Paraguay in Nashville, Tenn., for March 29 will be played as scheduled.

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