Thirteen Eritrean players seek asylum in Tanzania

The Red Sea players failed to go back home after the end of the Cecafa club championship in Tanzania, and it has now emerged that they want to remain in the country

Thirteen of Eritrea's Red Sea players who failed to return home after the conclusion of the Cecafa Kagame Cup are now seeking asylum in Tanzania.

According to a report posted in the Daily News, the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs is holding the 13 players of the Asmara-based Red Sea Football Club for questioning.

"The players surrendered themselves to Ministry of Home Affairs seeking asylum," said the ministry's spokesman Isaac Nantanga in a statement.

He said the players who took part in the Kagame Castle Cup which ended on Sunday, were scheduled to leave Dar es Salaam for home on Saturday, July 9, aboard Kenya Airways, but failed to travel.

"The players did not show up at the airport for departure. They are still undergoing interviews with refugees' department at the ministry and are expected to end later on Tuesday.

"This is a normal procedure by the department. The interviews are in line with Tanzanian and international laws and the objective is to establish reasons for the applicants to seek asylum in the country," Nantanga explained in the statement.

He said the players were being taken care by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and their passports held by the Immigration Department.

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