3 Cuban soccer players defect to Canada before FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

London: Toronto Soccer`s governing body has said the three Cuban soccer players who disappeared before a World Cup qualifier against Canada have defected.

FIFA said in an email the players defected Thursday, one day before the game.

The defecting players left Cuban coach Alexander Gonzalez with only 11 players on his team. He said another player was ill and didn`t make it to the game, which Canada beat Cuba 3-0.

"As with any Cuban sport team that travels around the world, they`re all chasing the American dream," he said. "And it`s difficult to try to keep the team together. ... Obviously it`s a difficult situation for the team and it`s tough for me to talk about it,” CBS News quoted Gonzalez, as saying, as he lamented the departures of the missing players.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not confirm reports the men tried to cross into the United States at the Niagara Falls border point, the report said.

Tom Rusert, a spokesman for the customs and border protection agency, said no arrests were made in relation to this case. He cited privacy concerns for not providing further information, the report added.