Cameroon athletes vanish from C'wealth Games

Pablo Tucker
April 13, 2018

"The Australian government is working closely with the organising committee and worldwide stakeholders to ensure that Commonwealth Games officials and athletes are aware of their visa responsibilities, " the ABF said in a statement on Thursday.

Team attache Simon Molombe said he did not expect them to return.

Eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon - one-third of the central African country's 24-strong team - were said to be missing from the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, sparking an Australian Border Force manhunt.

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned when the athletes are found, they would be forcefully sent out of the country, if they have overstayed their visa. Fourteen were from Sierra Leone who later reported to to immigration officials.

Rwanda's chef de mission Eugene Nzabanterura said coach Jean Paul Nsengiyuma hadn't been seen since his athlete's event finished at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on Tuesday.

Team manager Victor Agbor Nso said weightlifters Olivier Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou and Mikoumba Petit David and boxers Ndzie Tchoyi and Simplice Fotsala had disappeared. They aren't going to game the system, and aren't going to stay here. The first round of missing athletes were discovered on Sunday when three of the team "departed the village".

He added however that: "After the investigations, they'll realise that I know nothing about it and I'll be exonerated".

Pakistan were featuring six wrestlers in the competition and will be hoping to get a medal in the 86kg event with 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Muhammad Inam competing in it.

"England have beaten New Zealand over the last couple of years but we've never done it in a major tournament", said goal keeper Geva Mentor.

A Queensland Police spokesman told that authorities are not on the lookout for the athletes because "they haven't committed any offence" and the athletes still hold a valid visa.

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, 26 athletes and officials sought asylum in Australia.

"That includes Cameroon and any other athletes".

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