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Cameroon athletes have gone missing from the Commonwealth Games

16 April, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Highlights, Commonwealth Games 2018 Gold Coast: Heena Sidhu wins gold in 25m pistol; Indian boxers shine on Day 6

In a freakish set of events, five more athletes appear to be missing from Commonwealth Games Village organisers said on Thursday, after eight competitors from Cameroon were suspected of fleeing a day earlier. "The focus now is to support teams in trying to track down the athletes who are missing", he added.

On Monday night, another two were declared missing, and finally, on Tuesday, three others left their room. "We have no idea where they are".

When we got up in the morning, they were not there.

"No, no, no. They are here", he said.

Indian team official Ravinder Chaudry held a news conference later Friday and said the delegation planned to appeal the ban on Thodi.

"They were here to train and they stuck to their training programs".

Cameroon team manager Victor Agbor Nso said all five athletes are yet to be found.

"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".

The safety and welfare of those athletes from the Team Cameroon perspective is being taken very, very seriously, but we are obviously monitoring that situation with Team Cameroon. He admitted the five athletes' whereabouts are unknown, but stressed it is too early for officials to be certain that the athletes have attempted to flee undetected.

Three more boxers have since vanished, sparking an Australian Border Force manhunt.

The athletes - Fotsala Simplice, Fokou Arsene, Ndzie Tchoyi Christian, Yombo Ulrich, Ndiang Christelle, Minkoumba Petit David, Fouodji Arcangeline Sonkbou and Matam Matam Olivier Heracles - left the designated competitors' village on the Gold Coast this week.

Cameroon officials on Wednesday made a decision to fly 14 athletes, including the entire 12-man basketball team, home immediately after they had completed their competitions.

"We have officially informed our hierarchy back home: the Ministry of Sports and the president of the National Olympic Committee of Cameroon", he said.

Queensland Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones said that the Australian Federal Police "are keeping a watching brief on these athletes". They are still within their visas, they have the right to travel freely.

"The authorities are very disappointed with the deserters - some did not even compete".

Migration agents on the Gold Coast, where the games are taking place, have reported receiving phone calls from athletes to inquire about how they can stay in Australia once the games concluded. They're still within their visas.

"It's also important to state that they are still free to travel in Australia under the terms of their visas", he said.

After the Sydney Olympics in 2000, more than 100 athletes overstayed, with 30 applying for asylum.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation was established in January 2012 to prepare for the event.

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