Eritrean players who escaped from camp have been granted asylum.
The government of Uganda has granted asylum to the 15 Eritrean footballers and the team doctor who escaped from 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, says 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 following a goalless draw with Zanzibar, 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.
Kazungu adds that two of the players who had applied for asylum returned home, but the rest refused to return because they feared they would be recruited into military training.
The Uganda Football Association’s vice-president in charge of youth, Patrick Ogwel has welcomed the development and thanked government for finally putting the matter to rest.
Story By Dennis Ssembatya