The majority of the Eritrea team and a team doctor went missing during the East and Central African regional championship - the Cecafa Senior Challenge in Uganda in 2012.
The players defected in the hope of finding a better life in Europe and are now living in the Dutch town of Gorinchem.
With five football teams in the town, there's currently a tug-of-war going on with the various clubs trying to sign up the former international footballers.
But the players haven't been welcomed with open arms by right-wing political groups in the country.
BBC World Football's James Montague has been finding out more.