Tanzania has rejected an asylum request by 13 young Eritrean footballers who refused to return home after a regional tournament in July.
The footballers had failed to prove that their lives would be in danger in Eritrea, a government spokesman said.
A UN official said an appeal would be made to other countries to give refuge to the former Red Sea FC players.
Young Eritreans often try to escape poverty, a repressive government and national military service.
Tanzania’s home affairs ministry spokesman Isaac Nantanga told the BBC the players seemed to have applied for asylum because they wanted “greener pastures” – not because of a lack of security in Eritrea…