Eritrea-based football players, who went to Namibia for a World Cup qualifying match, each reportedly gave a bond equivalent to $7,000 (£5,600) as a security to return home after the match.
“This has been the norm in Eritrea for home-based players to provide a guarantee before travelling for international tournament. The home-based players are asked to provide a bond of 100,000 nakfa, [$7,000] or a title deed as a guarantee,’’ a source told Radio Erena, a Paris-based radio station which broadcasts news in Tigrinya and Arabic into Eritrea.
In the past, there have been a number of mass defections by Eritrean athletes.
In 2015, 10 players from the Eritrean national football team refused to return home after playing a World Cup qualifying match in Botswana, which neighbours Namibia, and later sought asylum there.
In Tuesday’s match, Eritrea lost to Namibia 2-0.