NAIROBI - Two members of the Eritrean national football team have gone missing in Kenya amid fears they are seeking asylum, Kenyan football officials have said.
Eritrea is one of the 12 teams taking part in the on-going East African Football Association (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup, which started in Nairobi on Thursday last week.
The team were beaten 3-0 by Sudan in their opening match on Friday and are scheduled to face defending champions Uganda today.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) official Evans Mukolwe said yesterday the players failed to return to the team's hotel on Sunday after watching the Kenya-South Sudan game at Nairobi's Nyayo National stadium.
"The issue was raised by the head of the Eritrean contingent who told us he had informed their embassy about the disappearance of the players," Mukolwe, who is also the head of the technical committee for the tournament, said.
"We have involved our security agents to track down these players because they came here for football and they cannot just disappear without our clearance," he added.
This is not the first time that Eritrean players have gone missing in the regional tournament for national football teams.
In 2009 and 2012, national team players defected while in Kenya and Uganda respectively.
They later sought and were granted asylum in the two countries.
Two years ago, 13 members of the then Eritrean champions Red Sea failed to return home at the end of a regional club championship in Tanzania.