Soccer

Eritrea coach won’t discuss AWOL players

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By Andrew Mwanguhya

Posted  Wednesday, December 4  2013 at  00:00

In Summary

“I’m not a politician. I’m a coach; a football coach. If you want to talk about anything football, about the match today, I’m here to answer, but not politics,” Omer Ahmed.

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Details of the alleged two missing Eritrean players remain scanty and the Red Sea Camels camp is not about to indulge in any discussion of the pair.

Not least the Eritrea coach, Omer Ahmed, who instead prefers to limit his speech to the pitch than anywhere close to authorities in the capital Asmara.

Asked about an update on the two players that disappeared from camp on Saturday evening, Omer’s response somewhat sought to remind us that such answers could be well sought at Asmara; and he was at City Stadium where a football match that saw his side lose to Uganda 3-0 had just ended.

“I’m not a politician,” a rather affable Omer dismissively said, “I’m a coach; a football coach. If you want to talk about anything football, about the match today, I’m here to answer, but not politics.” It is now five times running Eritrean players have disappeared at Cecafa tournaments, with a dozen disappearing at the Kampala edition last year. They have often blamed the political strife back home for their disappearances.

Asked whether the missing players had affected the team’s performance against Uganda, Omer was collected.

“I think I had the best team available. You saw for yourselves, the players here played the best football so I can’t say we missed the missing players.”

amwanguhya@ug.nationmedia.com