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Egypt cancels Danish dates over cartoon row

Latest update : 2008-02-18

Egypt has cancelled two youth internationals against Denmark over the controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoon printed in Danish newspapers, citing "security reasons".

Egypt has cancelled two youth internationals against Denmark over the controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoon printed in Danish newspapers, the Danish Football Federation (DBU) said Monday.
   
The DBU said the Egyptians had cited "security reasons" for the cancellation of the matches scheduled for Feb. 26 and 28 in Egypt.
   
"The Egyptians did not mention specific threats against the Danish players. But as they are not guaranteeing our security it is normal not to send our youngsters to Egypt," DBU spokesman Lars Berendt told AFP.
   
He added the Egyptian Football Federation had told the Danes of its "regrettable" decision to cancel the games late on Sunday in a fax.
   
The DBU added it was surprised at the development given that the Danish foreign ministry has not advised nationals not to visit Egypt despite the ill-feeling over the cartoon issue.
   
Muslims in Egypt and other countries have been upset by the decision of Danish media to republish a cartoon whose initial publication last year unleashed a wave of protest from some Muslims.
   
On Saturday, Denmark's foreign policy committee said it had cancelled a trip to Iran next week over demands it apologise for the publication.
   
"We cannot do that, it would be a violation of freedom of expression," the committee's deputy chairman Jeppe Kofod told AFP.
   
Several Danish papers have reprinted the cartoon, one of 12 that caused bloody riots in the Islamic world two years ago.
   
The drawing featured Mohammed head with a turban that looked like a bomb with a lit fuse. The newspapers chose to republish it after Danish police uncovered an alleged plot in the Scandinavian country to kill the cartoonist.

Date created : 2008-02-18

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