Reports from Cuba: Coach of Cuban football delegation confirms defection of Yasmani Lopez

14yMedio and EFE report from Havana via Translating Cuba:

Coach of the Cuban Football Delegation Confirms Defection of Yasmani Lopez

Yasmani López deserted after the game with Mexico on Monday according to Miami press. The federation remains silent.

“The team, as everyone knows, did not arrive at the Gold Cup with the full delegation and indeed the Number Four defender (Yasmani López) abandoned the team on Saturday night. He is the only player that is now no longer with us,” confirmed Raúl Mederos, coach of the Cuban football team.

The coach explained in a press conference before the Cuban team’s match against Martinique that the decision of the midfielder and captain of the team was an isolated incident. “Regarding Yasmani’s case, it’s his decision. None of his colleagues, there are 30 of us, have anything to do with that. It’s his decision, he made it and he carried it out,” pointed out the manager in statements gathered by AFP.

El Nuevo Herald wrote this Monday that López, 31, who last Saturday played with Cuba against Mexico in the second game on the opening day of the Concacaf tournament in Group A and which his team lost by 7-0, disappeared afterwards from the Caribbean team.

With the loss of López, Cuba loses one of the most important players on the team.

It was also learned that for the game against Mexico, the Island’s team received its uniforms only a few hours before the match, which was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (California).

López, a native of the town of Morón in Ciego de Ávila province, debuted with the Cuban team precisely in the Gold Cup in 2013 in a match against Belize and ever since has been a fixture on the national football team.

López’s defection keeps the tradition of turning Concacaf tournaments in which Cuba participates into the best system the island’s players have to escape and remain in American territory, where they immediately request political asylum.

Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera


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