U.S. cancels plans for Qatar camp amid turmoil in Middle East

The U.S. Soccer Federation announced Friday that travel to the men's team training camp in Qatar has been called off due to the developing situation in the Middle East.

The announcement effectively cancels the trip to Qatar -- which is due to host the 2022 World Cup. The squad will instead open camp Monday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

However, the USSF is hopeful a different trip to Qatar can be organized later.

"We are working with the Qatar Football Association to find an opportunity in the near future for our team to experience Qatar's world-class facilities and hospitality," the USSF said in a statement.

The camp was due to be held at the Aspire Academy in Doha from Jan. 5-25, meaning players were set to depart this weekend. During that time, the national team was scheduled to hold training sessions, as well as take part in closed-door scrimmages with other clubs and national teams holding camps in the country, including a match against Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg on Jan. 18.

Following its return to the U.S., the team would train in Carson, California, just south of Los Angeles, and play Costa Rica in a friendly at Dignity Health Sports Park on Feb. 1.

But the killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Iran's top military commander, by a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad on Thursday raised concerns about the situation in the region. While Qatar is viewed as being safe, there is uncertainty over how the political and security situation in the region will play out in the coming days.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran would seek revenge for Soleimani's death. The U.S. State Department told Americans to leave Iraq immediately due to the heightened tensions in the region.

These developments led the USSF to reconsider whether it made sense to make the trip. On Friday, in an abundance of caution, the decision was made to postpone travel and relocate the camp.