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Sports

Danish-Egyptian friendship match cancelled

A cancelled youth football game takes the brunt of the Mohammed cartoon reprint and talks of a Danish boycott in Egypt are intensifying

Danish youth football seems to be the first victim of a boycott against Denmark as a result of the reprinted Mohammed caricature.

The Danish Football Association received last week a cancellation of the planned match between the Egyptian and Danish youth football teams, with the reason being an unspecified security situation.

However, it later transpired that the real explanation behind the cancellation was the controversial Mohammed reprint.

Alaa Eleldin, a spokesperson for the Egyptian football union said that the decision had not been one made by the football association, but the Egyptian government.

Egyptian media has not hidden the fact that the cancellation had everything to do with the caricatures. From sporadic coverage during the first few days of the reprinted cartoons, newspapers have in the past few days begun extensively writing about the situation.

Ramadan A. Kader, editor-in-chief of The Egyptian Gazette said it was clear that the cancellation was to do with the cartoons and not for 'security reasons' as had initially been the explanation given to the Danish Football Association.

'It's because of the illustrations and the cancellation is a protest,' he said and added that this had been confirmed by the Egyptian football union.

In Cairo, the daily press was carefully being monitored by Rasmus Alenius Boserup, director of the Danish-Egyptian institute, who said that the discussion was becoming more heated by the day.

'The situation is escalating and there is increasing talk of an imminent boycott,' said Boserup.

Lars Behrendt, a Football Association spokesperson said: 'This is yet another attempt of mixing politics and sports together. We're part of a society and events happening in various parts of the world affect sports occasionally.'

'It's always a bleak state of affairs being part of a political agenda.'

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