Eritrean footballers refuse to leave Botswana after international match

Ten players from Eritrea’s football team have refused to return home after a World Cup qualifying match played in Botswana.

Ten footballers from Eritrean national team refuse to leave Botswana after game.

Ten footballers from Eritrean national team refuse to leave Botswana after game. Image by Steven Depolo / CC BY 2.0

The team members were detained by police after they decided not to board their plane. Officials say they are now seeking asylum there, despite the intervention of the Eritrean ambassador in Botswana. A similar mass defection of  Eritrean athletes occurred in 2013, when Uganda granted asylum to 15 football players and their team doctor at the end of a football tournament. Read more: bbc.co.uk

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