No word from Cuban softball players who didn’t show at Surrey tournament

Players haven't contacted their team in three days

A pair of Cuban softball players who failed to show up for the Women’s World Softball Championship in Surrey have not had any contact with their team for three days.

Tournament spokeswoman Laura Ballance said she notified the RCMP when the women did not arrive for the first game on Sunday and that the Canada Border Services Agency is involved.

“It’s complicated because they’re actually on a six-month visitor visa so they technically haven’t done anything wrong,” she said Wednesday. “But they’re not with their team.”

Ballance said it’s unclear whether the women were trying to defect instead of playing in the 10-day tournament involving 31 countries including Australia, Israel, Switzerland and Uganda.

Canada Border Services Agency spokeswoman Erin Steeksma said that due to privacy concerns, she could not discuss whether the players have made refugee claims.

David Long of U.S. Customs and Border Protection also cited privacy issues, saying he can’t confirm whether the women are seeking admission into the United States.

He said that generally, a Cuban national who arrives at a U.S. border and expresses fear of returning home is inspected and paroled while checks are done on any criminal or immigration history in the United States.

“The Cuban national may be eligible under the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act of 1966 to apply for lawful permanent residence one year after inspection and parole,” he said in a statement.

Ballance said 11 countries with players at the tournament had never before participated in any world championship.

The team from Kenya, for example, donned worn-out running shoes and lost 28 to 0 against New Zealand, she said.

“The (New Zealanders) went out that day and bought every single player on the Kenyan team cleats,” Ballance said, adding the team from France has been overwhelmed by spectators bringing them flowers in the aftermath of a deadly attack in Nice.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Surrey wants BNSF to slow Crescent trains

Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Rail-safety forum planned for White Rock this Friday

Event to include municipal, federal, provincial governments

White Rock open house to discuss city’s aquifer protection plan

Examination of potential hazards includes increased population, climate change

‘Connecting Threads’ and more in Surrey Art Gallery’s fall shows

Free admission at opening reception and panel discussion Sunday afternoon

SFU unveils new lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital

Combination of MRI, MEG allows for ‘best possible windows’ intro brain function

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

B.C. marijuana workers may face U.S. border scrutiny

Cannabis still illegal federally south of the border

New political party holds an informational session in Vernon

Maxime Bernier’s The People’s Party of Canada draws about 2o interested patrons to Vernon pub.

B.C. MLAs reminded of rural school struggles

Finance committee hears of falling enrolment, staff shortages

Most Read