Eritrean footballers apply for asylum in Uganda

A Ugandan government official says 17 Eritrean footballers and a

team doctor have applied for political asylum after going missing

during a regional tournament.

Musa Ecweru, Uganda’s minister for disaster preparedness and

refugees, said the applications were being considered by

authorities.

Police had been searching for the Eritreans since they left

their team hotel on Tuesday after being eliminated from the east

and central African CECAFA Cup and didn’t return home with the

remainder of Eritrea’s traveling party.

Eritreans have previously not returned home after competing in

sports events abroad.

The entire Eritrea team sought refugee status at the 2009 CECAFA

Cup in Kenya, while some Eritrean athletes went missing at this

year’s London Olympics.