Egypt pulls plug on Olympic event

Violence in Cairo on 9 October 2011
There has been unrest in Cairo recently and the Egyptian FA says impending parliamentary elections mean it cannot host the Olympic qualifiers

Egypt has pulled out of hosting the African men's Olympic qualifying tournament.

The eight-team competition was to be played in Cairo from 26 November to 10 December, with the top three teams qualifiying for London 2012.

Egypt has informed the Confederation of African Football of its decision, which it says is because of upcoming parliamentary elections.

There has been further unrest in Cairo in recent days.

"Due to understandable circumstances, the Egyptian FA's decided to withdraw from the hosting of the Caf U-23 African championship," Caf confirmed in a statement.

"Consequently, the Confederation of African Football is now looking at another possible host for the tournament, among the Federations that previously showed interest to organize the competition."

Among those who previously expressed a desire to host the competition were Algeria and Nigeria.

Alongside the latter two and Egypt, the other participating teams are Gabon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal.

Caf is labelling the competition as Africa's first Under-23 Championship.

The continent already has competitions at both Under-17 and Under-20 level, where the top four automatically qualify for Fifa's finals at those age levels.

There has been no response from Caf to Egypt's decision as yet.

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