The Cuban government confirmed on Sunday that of 24 players on Cuba’s national team at baseball’s U-23 World Cup, nine have defected during a tournament in Mexico.
Cuban officials referred to the players’ acts as “vile abandonments” in a note published on the JIT online page, the official publication of the island’s National Sports Institute.
The institute did not provide any information about the players who remained in Mexico.
The remaining of the group, which initially consisted of 24 players, will arrive on Monday.
The loss of nine players is one of the largest in a Cuban team playing in another country. Scouts hoping to sign Cuban baseball talent to significant league clubs frequently approach them. Still, the bad relations between the United States and Cuba prevent them from going through the normal employment process.
Cuba finished third in the U-23 competition, losing to Colombia. Sonora, in northern Mexico, hosted the U-23 World Cup.
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