Cuban Players Released from Custody in Time for Final Game against St. Kitts & Nevis Tonight


Police in St. Kitts have confirmed that there was an incident that occurred yesterday, Sunday 27th November, 2011, at a cosmetic store located in the Circus Basseterre, known as Lucky Cosmetics, where the owners reported that members of the visiting Cuban football team were alleged to have shoplifted a number of items from the store.

However, speaking with the Police Press & Public Relations Department this afternoon, was informed that though players from the team were in fact in their “custody” and were questioned at Police Headquarters in relation to the incident, no charges have been laid and the said players are no longer being held in custody.

The Police PRO indicated that they did initiate a number of interviews, including those with the players, but they have since been allowed to continue their normal business in the island and are no longer persons of interest, as far as it relates to the shoplifting incident.

Other sources have indicated that a number of items were believed to have been stolen from the store while the Cuban players were “shopping” at the facility on Sunday; and owners of the store confirmed that they did discover that two hair cutting items were missing and after a review of surveillance tapes they were able to trace the source that they believed to be responsible for the missing items.

Police were called in, and it was then that authorities thought they had enough cause to interview certain members of the football

Up to 1:00pm this afternoon, (Monday, 28th November,), members of the Cuban Football team management were observed on the outside of the main police station in Basseterre, in the company of their resident ambassador, Jorge D. Payret Zubiaur. Sources are now indicating that the matter has been “quietly and privately” settled with restitution being made to the store owner.

How all this will impact on the Cuban team’s performance tonight against host country St. Kitts & Nevis, is not clear, but some observers believe that it must have some negative impact on the mood of the Cubans, given the obvious embarrassing situation they find themselves in over the incident.

St. Kitts and Nevis needs a victory to guarantee its place as one of the two top teams to move on to the CONCACAF finals in the USA next year. Cuba goes into tonight’s game as leaders on 4 points with St. Kitts and Nevis on 3 points.

It is also not certain if the players said to have been interviewed by the police will be included in the squad tonight, but if they are not, it would be a huge blow to Cuba, given the crucial role played by them so far in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the St. Kitts & Nevis team remains confident of victory and officials have indicated that the players are “pumped up” and ready to defend the honour of their country.

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