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Half of Cuban Field Hockey Team defects at Pan Am Games – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 27th, 2015 by Ian

Half of Cuban Field Hockey Team defects at Pan Am Games
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It’s no wonder the Cuban men’s field hockey team was smoked 13-0 by Trinidad and Tobago during the current Pan Am Games in Toronto Canada. Half of them didn’t show up for the match as they all defected to the United States. They weren’t the only Cubans to defect during the event either, as four rowers also defected earlier on in the week. Sources stated that eight members of the 16-man field hockey team fled the country while one of the members said just seven of them took off.

With half of the team going AWOL, Cuba managed to field just eight players for the game against Trinidad. This means they played three men short for the contest as a team is made up of 11 players along with five more on the substitute’s bench. All eight players had to play the entire game, but at least they showed up for the fans instead of mailing the game in and losing it by default.

This isn’t the first time Cuban athletes have defected and it won’t be the last. In the past we’ve seen several boxers defect along with volleyball and baseball players. This is mainly because athletes in those sports can hit the jackpot and make decent money if they continue their career in the USA. But still, one must wonder how the athletes managed to get into America if the Pan Am Games are being held in Canada.

Eight athletes also defected back in 1999 when the Pan American Games were held in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Even though Cuba and the USA have resumed political relations and Cubans can now travel out of the country more freely, several athletes are still deciding to defect. Some people feel they’re deserting their homeland because they have an opportunity to make more money in America while others believe they’re defecting simply just for the freedom.

Along with the Pan Am defections, several members of the Cuban national soccer team defected during the recent Gold Cup tournament which was co-hosted by the U.S. and Canada. Cuban officials have started to jack up salaries for athletes and have started to allow them to sign pro contracts with foreign teams. This has been done in the hope that they don’t lose them to other countries. However, it doesn’t seem to be working very well.

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