Eleven young baseball players dropped out of the national team during a tournament for players under the age of 23, which began last month. The remaining Cuban players on the team will return to the communist-run island on Monday.
A statement from Cuba’s National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) accused the missing players of “weak morals and ethics.”
Cuban officials also accused the United States of restricting Cuban players to jump to play in the Major Leagues.
Usually, only the players who are seen as most loyal to the government, who are elected to play abroad and are accompanied by government chaperones to prevent them from leaving.
Cuba has been hit hard financially during the pandemic with few tourists visiting and restrictions on international flights that have prevented many Cubans from leaving the island.