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Uganda granted asylum to 15 Eritrean football players

Tigrai Online Feb. 19, 2013

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Uganda has granted asylum to the 15 players from the Eritrea football team and the team doctor who absconded in the country in December during the 2012 Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup.

Uganda has granted asylum to the 15 players from the Eritrea football team and the team doctor who absconded in the country in December during the 2012 Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup.

Apollo David Kazungu, the Commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, said on Monday that the Refugee Eligibility Committee had found the group's claims valid and granted them refugee status.

The Eritrean team had been eliminated in the tournament in the early stages after drawing with Zanzibar 0-0, losing 3-2 to Malawi and being beaten 2-0 by Rwanda in their last match on Saturday.

Instead of boarding the next plane out of Uganda, 17 players and officials left their Sky Hotel reportedly to go shopping, but only three returned to Asmara.

"This is very good news if they have finally been sorted by the relevant authorities. But next time teams should come and play football and return to their countries," said Uganda Football Association's vice-president in charge of youth, Patrick Ogwel.

Source:  Read More on BBC Sport - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21505915

Background

Back in December 2012 the entire 17 Players of the Eritrean national football team have gone missing in Uganda after the team was eliminated in the group stage of the ongoing Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

Chairman of the local organising committee of the tournament Moses Magogo, who is also a vice-president of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) told BBC Sport on Monday that he believes some Eritrean players are missing from the hotel where they were staying.

Seventeen players and one official have disappeared from Sky Hotel, where the team was booked, leaving behind head coach Teklit Negash, two of his assistants, two players and two officials of the Eritrean Football Federation.

In July 2011, 13 Eritrean Football Players Go Missing in Tanzania. In December 2009 The entire Eritrean national football team has gone missing after failing to board a flight home following a match in Kenya. Only the squad's coach and one other official arrived back in Eritrea. In May 2006, four players of the Eritrean football club, Red Sea defected in Nairobi after evading their government escorts.

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