Skip to comments.FIFA confirms 3 Cuban players defected in Toronto
Posted on 10/13/2012 1:04:38 PM PDT by Squawk 8888
TORONTO -- The search continued Saturday for three players from the Cuban men's soccer team after they disappeared just before a World Cup qualifying match against Canada.
A spokesperson for FIFA -- the governing body of international soccer -- confirmed in an email that the players defected on Thursday, one day before the scheduled game in Toronto.
The FIFA official would not release any further details.
The defecting players left Cuban coach Alexander Gonzalez with only 11 players on his team for the match.
He said the missing fourth player fell ill and wasn't able to make it to the game.
A spokesman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not confirm reports that the players tried to cross into the United States at the Niagara Falls border point Thursday.
Tom Rusert cited privacy concerns as a reason why he couldn't give out any information. He added that no arrests were made in relation to this case.
On Friday, Gonzalez lamented the departures of the missing players.
"As with any Cuban sport team that travels around the world, they're all chasing the American dream," he said. "And it's difficult to try to keep the team together ... Obviously it's a difficult situation for the team and it's tough for me to talk about it."
Canada, ranked 61st in the world, defeated Cuba 3-0 in the match.
This isn't the first time Cuban soccer players have fled to the United States while in Canada.
Last January, two players with the women's team defected following a CONCACAF match against Canada in Vancouver.
But Cuba is such a wonderful place to live. Why would they leave that utopian paradise?
No need to worry coach. The Obama Regime will be happy to turn them over to the nearest representatives of the Castro Communist government of Cuba.
Why don’t they defect to Canada?
Cuban baseball players we can use. Soccer players not so much.
IBSINAS (In Before Soccer Is Not A Sport!)
Just a tad late. Actually I think it’s a sport. Just not my sport.
We could use both. The Jays and Toronto FC were awful this year.
Some do but most end up stateside.
Because... Canada has diplomatic relations with Cuba, plus is one of Cuba’s biggest trading partners, so they don’t see Cuba as a prison camp from to escape, and they don’t offer asylum.
I understand. There is a large Cuban community in the U.S. and in places like Miami the climate is more like home. My favorite high school teacher was a Cuban refugee, as was my favorite doctor. Educated Cubans are really exceptional people; warm, intelligent, loyal, honest. It’s a shame what Castro did to that country.
Mike Lowell is one of the really fine gentlemen in baseball, and the son of Cuban refugees. He is also outspoken in his criticism of Castro and American fellow travelers.
Don’t they realize that we are inches away from the same time of regime they just escaped from???
Don’t they realize that we are inches away from the same type of regime they just escaped from???
More than inches, and a Romney victory may buy us breathing room.
Likely they just want to hang with Michael Moore, party and maybe contribute to a sequel to Moore’s Cuba healthcare documentary.