Refugee football players seek asylum in Sweden
TT/The Local/sr · 8 Jul 2014, 08:57
Published: 08 Jul 2014 08:57 GMT+02:00
Thirteen football players from Darfur, western Sudan, disappeared during the ConIFA World Football Cup match in Östersund at the beginning of June.
Seven of them have now arrived in Gävle, southern Sweden, and applied for asylum in Sweden. The remaining six are seeking asylum in Norway.
"We had help to get to Gävle, and there we registered with the Migration Board," a player told the local Östersunds Posten paper on Monday night.
The players' team, Darfur United, consisted of players from the refugee camp in neighbouring country Tchad.
"We decided to stay because it seems safe here. It's not safe in the refugee camps."
The ConIFA World Football Cup is a minority tournament, hosted by ConIFA, an association for stateless people, minorities, and states unaffiliated with FIFA and thus uneligible to play in the World Cup.
The 2014 tournament took place from June 1st to June 8th in Östersund, and featured teams from 12 regions including Iraqi Kurdisatn, Padania, Occitania, Darfur, Abkhazia, and Quebec.