Eritrean football head coach, players 'disappear' in Botswana: Official

Indo Asian News Service / 15 October 2015

Francistown (Botswana), Oct 15 (IANS) The head coach of the Eritrean football team along with 10 players “disappeared” from their hotel after losing a World Cup qualifying match here against Botswana, a senior Botswana Football Association (BFA) official said. BFA vice president Basadi Akoonyatse on Wednesday confirmed that the players and their head coach Alemseged Efrem disappeared from their hotel rooms in Francistown, Botswana’s second largest city situated some 430 km north of the capital city Gaborone, on Wednesday morning, Xinhua reported. “The ten players and the coach disappeared from the rooms where they were lodging around 4 a.m.,” said Akoonyatse, adding that some of the players and their head coach were later found at Red Cross offices in Francistown. She added that some of the players were found after an intensive search of the dense bushes along a river that passes through the city where they were hiding.

The players and the head coach were, however, not willing to return to their native nation. The players and the coach said, without giving any details, that their lives were in danger, said Akoonyatse. She added that the Eritrean Consular based in Botswana’s southern neighbour in South Africa has been busy persuading the players and the head coach to consider going back home. The Red Sea Camels, as the Eritrean national football team is affectionately known in football circles, have been in Botswana to play a second leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier. Eritrea lost 1-3 to the hosts on Tuesday night.

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