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At least Tevez came back: Cuban international defects

Cuban football appears to have lost another player to the lure of the USA -- defender Yosmel de Armas was reported to have defected while his team-mates played in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Tennessee.

When De Armas missed Monday night's final game in the tournament against Canada, the Cuban coach said the player was sick and had stayed at the hotel, but De Armas was not with the team when they left a downtown Nashville hotel on Tuesday.

In recent years, Cuban football has seen more defections than a Cork hurling team on strike. Seven members of Cuba's Olympic team defected in Tampa, Florida in 2008 when they travelled to the USA for a qualifying game.

And in January, two members of the Cuban women's national team defected while they were participating in the qualifying event in Vancouver -- after escaping their hotel and getting a taxi to the US border.

Perhaps the biggest surprise with De Armas' apparent defection would be the location.

As a land-locked state, Tennessee is hardly the first port of call for Cubans looking for a new life in America. Cubans make up just 0.28pc of the population. Any port in a storm...

Irish Independent