Havana, 9 March 2021 (AFP) – Cuba called players in foreign leagues for the first time in their history to participate in qualifying matches for the Qatar 2022 World Cup against Guatemala and Curacao on the 24th and 28th of this month.
Pablo Allier Sanchez, technical director of the Antilles team at the press conference, said there are 11 players, four of whom live in other countries, and seven in foreign leagues with authorization from the Cuban Sports Institute (INDER).
Players playing in the league of Brazil, Spain, Guatemala, United States, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, England, Honduras and San Marino will join the team at the place of matches, where they will undergo joint training on the 22nd. And on 23 March. These players are part of 26 squads, 23 of which will be in Guatemala for matches against the hosts (24 days) and Curacao (28 days).
This is an unprecedented event, the first chapter of which took place last November, when the Cuban Football Association (AFC) registered five players who live and work in their players’ foreign leagues.
They are: Onel Hernández (Norwich City, England), Jorge Luis Corrales (Montreal Impact, USA), Carlos Vejquez (Alcorcon of Spain), Joel Appetagia (Trey Fiori, of San Marino) and Marcel Hernández (Alazuelanes of Costa Rica).
“I feel something unique, special, which happens only once in my life. I will take the opportunity in every game. We are here to help Cuban football and give people a lot of satisfaction,” said Appazetagia.
Given the poor results and frequent deserts of Cuban football in recent years, the call was a lucrative request for fans and the island’s own players.
The Qatar World Cup will be held from November 21 to December 18, 2022.
Cuba, where football has recently threatened nearly 150 years of baseball rule, only participated in the 1938 World Cup in France, as all opponents in its group conceded defeat.
bur / cb / ma / aam