Manchester United closed plans for Doha training camp in February amid increasing tensions in the US and Iran
Manchester United closed plans for a training camp in Doha amid fears for player safety following increasing tensions between the US and Iran
- Manchester United hoped to bring the first team to Qatar during the winter break
- But the plans have been demolished amid growing tensions between the US and Iran
- A plane was shot down in Tehran last week and there are concerns about the safety of players
- United instead chooses an alternative location in Europe during the 16-day break
Manchester United has scrapped plans for a training camp in Doha in next month’s winter break because of the fear of the safety of their players in the Middle East.
United would train through Qatar, but the increasing tension between Iran and the US – which led to the downing of a passenger plane over Tehran last week – forced the club to leave it in the midst of security concerns, with a warning from the ministry of Foreign Affairs for an increased threat to the region.
The US national team also canceled a training camp in Qatar, scheduled for this month.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says there is no chance that the United training camp will be held in Qatar
The Manchester United team traveled to Dubai last year for a warm weather training camp
United chooses an alternative location in Europe during their 16-day break and gives the players time for a short break, although the club does not impose restrictions on where they can go.
“We looked at the Middle East, but that is definitely not going to happen,” said manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“If there’s something that worries me, it’s not on the soccer field. There are other things that worry me more than football.
“I’m going to give them a few days off. I do not know where they will all spread, but we will stay in Europe. “
United used the facilities of the Aspire Academy in Doha under Sir Alex Ferguson, while a year ago Solskjaer took his players to the Nad Al Sheba sports complex in Dubai.
The team will play at a different location in Europe amid fears for the safety of players in the Middle East
The Norwegian acknowledged the need for the Premier League’s first winter break in the midst of a ‘ruthless’ series of 18 games in 63 days that will continue with the FA Cup third round Wednesday night at home at Wolves.
“This mid-season vacation will be very important for everyone to get vitamin D and get ready for the last three months,” said Solskjaer, who confirmed that injured midfielders Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay will not be available before United’s Premier League competition at Chelsea on 17 February.
‘Until then we have five or six games and we will just stick to it and stick around. I know we won’t see Scott or Paul before the winter break, but Luke Shaw is not too far away. “
Manchester United has previously used facilities in Qatar as a training base in recent seasons
Eric Bailly is also close to playing for the first time since he suffered a serious knee injury to Tottenham in Shanghai in the preseason. United will wait to see how the Ivorian defender reacts to Tuesday’s outing for the reserves, but Bailly can get the bench for Sunday’s trip to Liverpool.
In anticipation of the Wolves repeating, Solskjaer was asked if United is in danger of becoming a cup team, as they struggle to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City again for the title.
“Both supporters and the club are not happy about not challenging the top position in the league,” he replied.
Eric Bailly is approaching a return after missing the entire season with a knee injury
“That’s where we think we should be and many of today’s supporters have lived that period in which we have consistently won. We may start by winning a cup and then these players will get that taste. But that is not what we want to be. We want to be a challenge for the competition and the Champions League. “
With United talking to sign Sporting Lisbon’s £ 60 million valued midfielder Bruno Fernandes, Solskjaer has also taken away the concerns expressed by the newest Deloitte Football Money League that their earnings could quickly fall below those of Liverpool and City.
“I know we have the means,” he said. ‘We have the support if we have to go to the transfer market. We are still there, so still in a good place. “