October 16, 2007 / 7:44 PM / 10 years ago

Egyptian boxers abandon team in U.S.

1 Min Read

CAIRO (Reuters) - Two Egyptian heavyweight boxers abandoned their team-mates and disappeared after arriving in the United States for the World Boxing Championships, the official Middle East News Agency (MENA) said on Tuesday.

Wael Talaat, director of the Egyptian Boxing Association, said Emad Abdel-Halim and Ahmed Samir went missing shortly after the team arrived at a U.S. airport, the agency reported.

Talaat said the association would consider suspending the two athletes permanently.

He did not say why the two boxers had fled, but several Egyptian athletes, mainly boxers and wrestlers, have done the same in the past to seek better career opportunities in developed countries.

Many athletes in Egypt complain the state sports authorities give more financial support to soccer than other sports despite the national team's failure to reach the World Cup finals since 1990.

The World Boxing Championships are due to take place in Chicago between October 23 and November 3.

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