News reaching our desk indicate that five Eritrean female footballers have today early morning disappeared from their camp in Jinja.
The girls are part of the team that’s taking part in the CECAFA women U-20 football tournament which kicked off on 30th October all through to 9th November 2021 taking place at Njeru technical centre in Njeru.
According to a statement released by CECAFA, the five female footballers went AWOL from a hotel in Jinja and a case has since been reported to police and investigations are currently ongoing.
The Eritrean team was set to take on Uganda at 4pm at Njeru Technical Team.
This is not the first time Eritrean footballers are disappearing in Uganda particularly in Jinja. The same happened in 2019 when five male footballers who were taking part in the U-20 Challenge Cup.
Eritrean footballers have the taken the opportunity of trips abroad to run away in the past.
A group of 10 Eritrean National players refused to return home after a world cup qualifying match in Botswana in 2015. Also, Uganda granted asylum to 15 other players as well as the team doctor in 2013 after the group absconded during the previous year’s CECAFA Tusker Senior challenge cup.
And in 2009, the entire national team failed to return home after a tournament in Kenya. Only the coach and one official were found on board the place once it landed.
Human rights group Amnesty International says compulsory military service and rights abuses are forcing thousands to flee Eritrea though the Eritrean government has always dismissed these allegations in the past and said figures of those fleeing are fabricated.
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