Next month's Jordan Rally hangs in the balance tonight as the FIA meets with the teams to discuss the political unrest in neighboring Syria.
While Jordan remains free from the political problems which have struck other Middle East countries, the boat transporting the World Rally Championship teams' equipment in Syria. Team personnel will then have to drive through the country, close to Deraa where gunfire was heard as protesters marched through the city following the funerals of 25 people shot dead by security forces on Wednesday. The protest is against president Bashar al-Assad's regime in the country.
The teams are meeting with the FIA tonight and Citroen team principal Olivier Quesnel said the Dead Sea based event, scheduled for April 15-17, should be canceled.
"For myself, I think to go through countries where there are such big problems...it's not the fact that it's dangerous, I don't think we should go to play cars while they have their big problems, it is insensitive and not right morally," Quesnel told AUTOSPORT. "They [the FIA] can decide very soon, they just have to say it's finished."
There is an alternative route for transporting the logistics, taking a boat through the Suez canal. The problem with that is two-fold: the cost is high and the cars leave directly from Faro on Monday, requiring an immediate decision and rapid action to implement the new plan.
WRC Commission president Jarmo Mahonen said the FIA was investigating the situation in Syria and exploring possible plans.
"The decision is made by us [the FIA]," Mahonen said. "Of course, we have been investigating the situation. In Jordan, it looks good, but we are making an investigation into Syria and we will have the update this afternoon.
"As a sporting organization, you can't just cancel an event. We need evidence that it's unsafe and we will discuss with the teams. We will have a decision [whether the teams go to Jordan] during this weekend."