Brighton & Hove Albion have cancelled their plans to travel to Dubai for a warm weather training camp next month amid safety concerns, following recent airstrikes between the United States and Iran.
Graham Potter and his staff were keen to take advantage of the break in fixtures to spend some time in the Middle East and raise his players’ spirits after a tough run of fixtures, but the decision has been taken to abandon their getaway.
The Athletic reports that Brighton have chosen to cancel their plans due to the political tensions which have arisen between the United States and Iran, with fears that the players’ safety could be endangered.
The club was particularly concerned due to the fact that they are sponsored by American Express, wear Nike kit and have a Jewish owner in Tony Bloom. A source within the club stressed that they could become a possible target as their training kit boasts the name ‘American Express’.
“We just don’t want to take any risks that we don’t need to take,” the source admitted.
Brighton are not the first team to abandon their warm weather training camp, with Manchester United recently pulling out of their trip to the Middle East amid safety fears of their own.
Potter’s side were set to travel to Dubai following their home match with Watford on 8th . February, as they have a two-week gap ahead of their next Premier League fixture against Sheffield United.
The trip was seen as an ideal destination for the players and staff to regroup following a gruelling winter period, but Brighton have decided against the holiday following an airstrike which accidentally shot down a commercial plane, killing all 176 passengers.
A Brighton source explained that they had taken the decision to cancel the training camp due to the ‘unpredictable’ nature of the current climate.
“The Dubai authorities were excellent all the way through, no issues whatsoever. But in the current climate, because it’s unpredictable, we want to have certainty with our planning.”
The Seagulls are still planning a training camp abroad, although they are likely to remain in Europe for their break.