Volleyball: Cuba confirms arrest of six players accused of rape in Finland

Xinhua - The Cuban volleyball federation on Monday night confirmed the arrest in Finland of six players of the men's national team. The men are being accused of participating in an alleged rape case.

In a statement, the Cuban federation said Osmany Uriarte, Abraham Alfonso, Ricardo Calvo, Rolando Cepeda, Luis Sosa and Dariel Albo are under arrest in the city of Tampere.

"The preliminary information shows these six players are involved in the acts which are totally rejected by our federation and are far from the discipline and respect that characterise Cuban athletes around the world," said the statement.

Finnish police will request that a regional court on Tuesday order the six men to be remanded in custody to continue the investigation before any possible charges.

Initially, eight men of the Cuban volleyball squad were detained on the weekend in Tampere after local police on Saturday morning received a report that a woman had been raped at a hotel in the city, 170km north of the capital, Helsinki.

Afterwards the local police released two of them who didn't participate in the alleged crime.

The international volleyball federation, FIVB, said it is "very concerned" by the alleged rape case of the Cuban national team and has been in close contact with all parties involved.

According to the statement, the Cuban embassy in Helsinki and the volleyball federation will continue to follow up the case and the determination Finnish authorities take, including a possible trial and sentences to the players.

The Cuban team was in the city participating in the second leg of the Volleyball World League tournament.