DAR ES SALAAM - Thirteen members of an
Eritrean club taking part in a regional championship in Tanzania
have disappeared after the side was knocked out of the
tournament, a Tanzanian football official said on Tuesday.
The Red Sea FC players were due to leave the country on
Saturday after their elimination from the Cecafa club
championship at the semi-final stage but a head count at their
departure point revealed that half the squad were missing.
"Thirteen out of 26 players of the Eritrean team have
disappeared," secretary general of the Tanzania Football
Federation (TFF) Angetile Osiah told Reuters.
"We have reported the matter to relevant law enforcement
authorities for investigation.
"Some team members colluded in the incident by trying to
stamp the passports of the missing players at airport
immigration checkpoints but when a physical head count was
conducted, it was discovered that 13 players were missing."
Illegal immigrants from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia often
use the east African country as a transit point to South Africa
It is not the first time members of an Eritrean team have
vanished after a tournament outside the country. In 2009, 12
members of the national squad disappeared in Kenya after
competing in a regional tournament.
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