Two Cubans with sports team defect to Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- (AP) -- Two Cubans visiting Costa Rica
for a sports
competition have defected and plan to seek political asylum to stay in this Central
Alieth Garcia, a player on Cuba's futsal -- or indoor soccer --
team, and the team's
doctor, Gustavo Gonzalez, defected Friday. Both said they want to live in Costa
Rica. The two emphasized that they do not plan to try to enter the United States.
Government officials have not provided any comment.
The Cuban team was in Costa Rica to compete ahead of the futsal
World Cup to
be held Nov. 18-Dec. 3, 2000 in Guatemala City. The draw is scheduled for
Futsal, or five-a-side soccer, was born on the beaches of Brazil
in the 1920s and
has slowly spread around the world. It is now played indoors on an international
level. Though still not an Olympic sport, futsal has had three World Cups, in 1989,
1992 and 1996, all won by Brazil.