Home | News    Wednesday 5 December 2012

Eritrea’s entire football squad defects in Kampala


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

December 4, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Almost the entire Eritrean national football squad has been missing in Uganda since Sunday, after the team was eliminated at the ongoing East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) senior Challenge Cup.

According to reports, seventeen players and the team’s doctor have disappeared in Ugandan capital, Kampala, leaving behind the head coach, Teklit Negash, two of his assistants and four other members of the team.

One of the missing footballer on condition of anonymity confirmed to Radio France Internationale (RFI) that the squad is hiding some where in Kampala.

"Everybody has to stay in secure places because the Eritrean government is searching for us," he said adding "The Eritrean embassy in Uganda is trying to find us".

He added that the group is planning to make an asylum request on Thursday.

This is a third time that the Eritrean national team has chosen to claim asylum in an African nation when playing outside the Horn of Africa nation.

In July last year, 13 Eritrean football players sought asylum in Tanzania after a 2011 tournament, while 12 members of the national team similarly disappeared in Kenya and sought asylum there during a regional tournament in 2009.

Four Eritrean athletes sought political asylum in Britain after the London Olympics this summer.


The Ethiopia-based Eritrean opposition group, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) on Tuesday said that the latest defection of the Eritrean football team shows the level political oppression in Eritrea, as well as the nations worsening economic and social crises.

"The decision the players made in Uganda indicates how further the dictatorial regime in Asmara has lost the trust by the Eritrean people’’ RSADO official, Nessredin Ahmed Ali told Sudan Tribune.

"We believe the players have sent a clear message to their people at home saying the time is now for all Eritreans to unite against President Issayas Afeworki’s regime and bring about democratic transition".

RSADO is a member of a larger opposition umbrella organization, the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA), a collation of 10 Eritrean opposition groups.

The opposition official said that the Eritrean government is the most brutal rule in the world and what happened in Uganda is a clear reflection to growing protests at home against government.

“Where else on earth would you see a whole national soccer team defecting as such and repeatedly?” he added.

Human rights groups have repeatedly labeled the Red Sea nation one of the world’s most repressive regimes and worst violator of human rights.

In the past few years, tens of thousands of Eritreans have fled to Ethiopia to escape the government’s compulsory military service, arrests, killings and intimidation.

Hundreds of members of the Eritrean Army have also fled and continue to flee to neighbouring countries mostly to Ethiopia.

Dozens of members of the Eritrean Navy also fled the country this year, using their speed boats to cross the Red Sea to Yemen.


Guardian | Eritrean football team goes missing in Uganda - video

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 5 December 2012 07:19, by Robot

    This is why i always said, i doubt Eritreans and Somalis presence here in Juba.

    repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 07:25, by master

    this one of Alturabi’s ordeal which he backed Afogay group rather than muslims group
    shame on him

    repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 07:32, by Akol Liai Mager

    There is no doubt that Eritrean Leaders had moved 1 step forward a total liberation of their people from Ethiopian Marginalisation into two steps backward into a total dictorship. I hope for change of hearts for Eritrean leaders and may others learn from this setback from heros to dictators.

    repondre message

    • 5 December 2012 08:09, by Asmera

      Not only their people, but also their land will start to escap from the uncevilazied dictatorship administration. Eritrea had one University and they closed it and establish SAWA for Military.. what will happen next with out education.

      repondre message

    • 5 December 2012 08:16, by Asmera

      Dear Akol,
      In Ethiopia, they were the first class citivines who control every business sectors, like what they are doing in South Sudan now. They were dictating by Albashir and Hosini Mubark to diminish power of Ethiopia not to control or use Nile river water. It is highly unfortunate for them after independence all their hosting Lusifers are gone and they start to flee back to Ethiopia..

      repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 08:06, by philipdit wol

    One of the defceted that Eritea Squad done in Kampla will stop hosted the other team next time becuase itis not a plotical brocthure.

    repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 08:10, by 4Justice

    Nowhere to run Nowhere to hide, Lucifer is everywhere! Lucifer wants your soul.

    repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 08:17, by North Face Jackets On Sale

    Egypt’s Supreme Judicial Council decided to agree to supervise the draft constitution referendum. A day earlier, North Face Jackets On Sale the Egyptian judges club has just announced that it will boycott the draft constitution referendum, refused to carry out judicial oversight.

    repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 10:20, by Northern Sudanese

    I just want to know, why does this website report things that have nothing to do with sudan or south sudan? why does it report news about Eritrea and Ethiopia???

    repondre message

    • 5 December 2012 13:46, by bianaathling

      I think the web reporting of this issue is so good.The issue concerning the Africa generally leave alone South and north it need to be heard as we are all have players who always use to go and play sports outside of many countries.And i think the defection of Eritrea players has cause behind home like you have heard from some comments made previously.

      repondre message

  • 5 December 2012 13:21, by LOJUBA

    Let us look careful on our borders , South sudan is the easiest heaven for those guys to stay.

    repondre message

  • 6 December 2012 07:28, by Justice Seeker

    Dear Readers, Eritreans are in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda etc b/c of the dictatorship in their country. In stead of feeling pity for them, people started writing nasty staff about those defected. In my view, this forum should criticize the evil leadership not the people who suffer by the evil. Hope to see sound writings next. Praise the Lord!

    repondre message

  • 22 January 2013 03:59, by airnikexgp

    First emerged the following, observe these kinds of excellent blog site, your internet site content and data is excellent, very desirable. I believe we have to enable lots more people to pay attention to your blog. Let me introduce the idea to folks close to.Cheap Replica Handbags

    repondre message

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Darfur ethnic attacks must be fully addressed 2021-05-06 04:16:34 Ahmed Elzobier A series of blunders have contributed to the tragic situation in Sudan’s West Darfur region and continue to expose civilians to violence, notably among them the premature (...)

Give credit they deserve 2021-04-30 21:13:25 Ngor Arol Garang While the visit of the government delegation to Chad had triggered debates and depictions in social media reflective of a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and (...)

South Sudan elections must be held on time 2021-04-18 07:30:37 The Government is bent on postponing the elections: a response to the statement of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs dated 14 April 2021. By Lam Akol The Press Secretary of the President of (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.