Cuban soccer players. Photo/archive: cuba.cu

HAVANA TIMES — While the Cuban media did report that the island’s soccer team lost its latest World Cup qualifier to Canada 3-0 on Friday, it did not mention the fact they played with no reserves after the desertion of four players who reportedly fled to the United States.

The loss left Cuba in the cellar of Group C with five losses and no victories with nine goals allowed and none scored. The final match of the round takes place next Tuesday in Havana with the locals facing Panama.

In recent years the Cuban national soccer team routinely losses players when the squad travels abroad for international competitions. The same thing happens in other sports, especially baseball.

If the deserters make it to the United States they are welcomed under the Cuban Adjustment Act which encourages Cubans to emigrate to the USA and gives them a very fast-track to a green card, something no other immigrant group enjoys.

Cuban coach Alexander Gonzalez told AP: “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.”

The Café Fuerte website listed the deserters as midfielder Reysander Fernández Cervantes, 28, (Ciego de Ávila); forwards Eviel Cordovez González, 23, and Maikel Chang Ramírez, 21, both from Havana; goalie Odisdel Cooper Despaigne (Camagüey), 20; and the teams psychologist, Ignacio Abreu Sánchez.

 

 


2 thoughts on “Short-Legged Cuba Loses WC Qualifier

  • Your figures for the numbers of immigrants from Mexico are wildly inaccurate. There are currently about 10 million Mexican born immigrants in the US today. Some 200,000 Mexicans move to the US each year, (legal & illegal), and about 100,000 return to Mexico. The number of Mexicans moving to the US has dropped significantly over the past decade as economic opportunities have improved in Mexico.

    The population of Mexico is about 112 million, or about 10 times the population of Cuba. That works out to roughly the same rate of immigration, as a percentage of population for Cuba and Mexico. The big difference of course is that Cubans rarely return to Cuba.

    What motivated Cubans to leave Cuba cannot be reduced to one thing. Some leave for economic opportunities, others flee the political repression, while others move to join family members they miss. Perhaps for most, it’s a combination of all these factors.

  • 3.5 million Mexicans per year “defects” Mexico per year to USA and that’s only fraction of overall Hispanics migration which is dwarfed by numbers coming from Asia and eastern Europe. Most of them getting deported but will attempt again and again despite chase, harassment, prison, death either in desert, sea, or from guns. Cubans are the only nation welcomed here as celebrities come to US only in about 20.000 per year. There’s more people coming from Canada, England or Germany every year. Looks like grass is greener on the cuban side…

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