FIFA says Syria unsafe to host futbal matches
By AMMAR BEN AZIZ
A source told Al Arabiya “the Syrians want to play in Antakya. If it was not possible, they are planning to write to the Jordanian Federation to allow the match to be played in Amman.”
Antakya is too close to Aleppo, which hosted many official international matches.
The first leg was originally scheduled to be played at the Al Abbassiyin Stadium in Damascus on June 19. However, FIFA informed the Syrian FA that it had decided to move to a neutral venue after taking into account “the very exceptional security circumstances still prevailing in Syria.”
Syrian Football Federation president Farouq Sariyeh said last week that Mr. Le Roy “asked that his contract be broken amicably, saying that he could no longer stay in the country after France called on its citizens to leave Syria.”
France urged any of its citizens living in or visiting Syria to leave on Wednesday and warned others to cancel any plans to visit during the current political crisis.
Mr. Sariyeh said that Mr. Le Roy had initially proposed to leave the country while maintaining his contract but this offer had been rejected.
Mr. Le Roy took up the position last March in a deal running until June 2013 after spending most of his career in Africa.
(Ammar Ben Aziz, a senior editor at Al Arabiya, can be reached at: email@example.com)