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

Players haven't contacted their team in three days

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

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 RCMP detachment. (Contributed file photo)
RCMP investigating report of shots fired in South Surrey

Police say they have not yet found evidence to confirm incident

Bucketheads – A Star Wars Story is being filmed near the 19000-block of 16 Avenue in South Surrey. (Mychaylo Prystupa photos)
Star Wars fan film ‘Bucketheads,’ shot in South Surrey, makes its debut

Volunteer initiative features new LED screen technology

Darlene Bennett, right, speaking about her murdered husband Paul at a press conference in 2018. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Widow of Surrey murder victim seeking referendum vote on policing transition

Darlene Bennett files application with Elections BC seeking binding referendum vote

Canada’s Janet Leung steals second base during playoff action at the Softball Americas Olympic Qualifier tournament in South Surrey on August 31, 2019. Leung and her teammates have not been back to Softball City since, as the 2020 and now ‘21 Canada Cup tournaments have been cancelled. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck photo)
Canada Cup softball event cancelled for second straight year

Travel restrictions, health and safety concerns cited as reasons for cancellation

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Terry Driver as he looked around the time of the killing of Tanya Smith and the attempted murder of Misty Cockerill in Abbotsford in October 1995. No current photos are available of Driver.
‘Abbotsford Killer’ Terry Driver denied parole, deemed ‘high risk’ to re-offend

Driver murdered Tanya Smith, 16, and seriously injured Misty Cockerill, 15, in 1995

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

A Mountie issued B.C. RCMP’s first ticket for non-essential travel May 1. (Black Press Media files)
Driver ticketed, told to ‘return to Lower Mainland immediately’ by Vancouver Island police

The motorist was originally pulled over for driving-related offences May 1

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Adam Hamdan has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorist charges given temporary residence in Canada

Adam Hamdan had been facing deportation to Jordan, where he holds citizenship through his Palestinian parents

Transit Police Const. Peter Kwok was filmed in December during an encounter on the Canada Line when a woman refused to wear a mask. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Woman who went viral by refusing to wear a mask on SkyTrain to pay $460 in fines

Footage of the December incident was recorded by the passenger, herself, and posted to social media

Lumber is shown in the back of a van in this recent image provided by the Saskatoon Police Service. The skyrocketing prices for lumber is fuelling a trend that has authorities across the country warning builders to keep their guard up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Saskatoon Police Service-Const. Derek Chesney *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘It is a gold mine:’ Builders warned of rising lumber thefts across Canada

Many North American mills curtailed production temporarily earlier in 2020 because of COVID lockdowns

Most Read