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Dakar Rally cancelled amid safety fears- 4 Jan 2008 00:00:00

The 2008 Dakar Rally, one of motorsport’s most prestigious races, has been cancelled because of safety concerns in the African republic of Mauritania through which the race was scheduled to travel.

Four French tourists were murdered in Mauritania on 24th December, which led to the French government advising against any travel to the country.

Nine of the rally's stages were due to pass through Mauritania.

The annual car and motorcycle marathon had been due to start in Lisbon on 5th January with the finish coming in Dakar on 20th January.

The head of sport for France Televisions, the organisation that was due to broadcast the event, confirmed the cancellation.

‘If the slightest incident had happened, it would have been the credibility of the Amaury Sport Organisation (organisers) that would have been at stake,’ said Daniel Bilalian.

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