Friday, 22 February, 2019

Cameroonian athletes vanish at Commonwealth Games

CWG 2018 Cameroon Athletes Go Missing from Commonwealth Games Five athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon have gone missing from the Commonwealth Games
Kristopher Love | 13 April, 2018, 01:49

It takes the total number of missing athletes up to 11, after the Cameroonian team lost a third of its members in the first week on the Gold Coast.

"I appreciate that it's not unimaginable, certainly you could hire a auto and drive here, but if that was the case someone would know about it".

"Border security is aware of it - these people are still within their visa - but at the end of the day I would encourage them to return to the village".

They are weightlifters Olivier Matam Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou and Petit Minkoumba, and boxers Christian Ndzie Tsoye, Simplice Fotsala, Arsene Fokou, Ulrich Yombo and Christelle Ndiang.

A further two weightlifters also went missing earlier in the competition, but it is yet to be specified when.

The Cameroon team at the opening ceremony.

Acting GCIS director-general, Phumla Williams, said: "We are proud of all our participants at the Commonwealth games".

Experience is also part of victory, therefore, those who competed and did not make it, I celebrate you as heroes because upon your performances, the future lies.

"If they don't want to be held in detention or locked up at the local watch house, they'd better jump on a plane before the 15th and comply with their visas conditions".

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said: "These athletes are guests here in Australia, they are still within their visas and they have the right to travel freely".

He said he "doesn't think they'll come back". They're still within their visas.

Illegal immigration is a highly contentious political issue in Australia and Peter Dutton, the country's Home Affairs Minister, issued a warning to athletes in January that they would be deported if they overstayed. In some cases athletes applied for asylum.

Hadzide and National Sports Authority boss Robert Safo Mensah were suspended on Thursday after close to 60 Ghanaians who had allegedly attempted to enter Australia by false pretenses in the ongoing 21st Commonwealth Games.