CAIRO: Egypt withdrew on Sunday as the host of an upcoming African handball championship in the aftermath of a bitter row with Algeria over a World Cup qualifier.
The Egyptian Handball Federation took the decision after the African Handball Federation turned down its request to delay the tournament, due to be held in February 2010, state news agency MENA reported.
The agency said the move stemmed from a meeting attended by the country’s sports associations, who decided to be “prudent in holding sports events attended by Algerian players and to avoid games in Algeria for safety reasons.
The Egyptian team, the reigning African handball champions, will still play in the championship if it is held in another country, the agency reported.
Algeria and Egypt engaged in a diplomatic row after Algerian fans attacked the buses of Egyptians fans in a World Cup qualifier hosted by Sudan earlier this month, which Algeria won.
Egypt withdrew its ambassador in response.
The trouble started before an earlier match hosted in Cairo, when a bus carrying the Algerian football team was pelted with stones, leaving three players wounded.
Algerians reacted by ransacking Egyptian businesses in Algiers. -AFP