Eritrea's Football Team Seek Asylum in Botswana, Voice Reports

Almost half of Eritrea’s national football team sought asylum in Botswana after a World Cup soccer tournament qualification match in the southern African country on Oct. 13, The Voice reported, citing Basadi Akoonyatse, a vice president at the Botswana Football Association.

Ten of the team’s 24 players are in custody in the eastern town of Francistown, the Gaborone-based newspaper said.

In September, Eritrea disbanded its national soccer federation because members kept defecting whenever they went abroad, forcing the country to seek players with dual nationality for upcoming World Cup qualifier matches.

Eritreans fleeing forced labor and conscription in the northeast African nation make up the biggest source of African migrants who crossed into Europe by sea in the first six months of 2015, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

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