Commonwealth Games 2018: Thirteen African Athletes Go Missing From Gold Coast

Updated: 12 April 2018 15:01 IST

More than 100 athletes overstayed their visas at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Athlete visas for the Commonwealth Games expire on May 15.

Commonwealth Games 2018: Thirteen African Athletes Go Missing From Gold Coast
Athletes from Rwanda and Uganda were thought to have gone missing. © AFP

Five more African athletes at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games are also believed to be on the run, joining eight missing members from Team Cameroon. Sierra Leone men's doubles squash players Ernest Jombla and Yusif Mansaray have failed to show for matches including one on Thursday morning against India. Gold Coast organizers confirmed reports that athletes from Rwanda and Uganda were thought to have gone missing, while they were also looking to verify the whereabouts of two squash players from Sierra Leone. "We're obviously looking at it very carefully," Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg told reporters. "We have a service to people who have legitimate visas to be in this country," he added.

"Until it becomes a true issue and somebody has outstayed their visa, or have formally applied for asylum, we just need to continue to monitor the situations.

"The focus now is to support teams in trying to track down the athletes who are missing."

More than 100 athletes overstayed their visas at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Athlete visas for the Commonwealth Games expire on May 15, Grevemberg said.

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.

As the search continues for Cameroon's five boxers and three weightlifters, Grevemberg insisted the welfare of the athletes came first.

"We obviously have been in close contact with Cameroon officials," he said.

"We share their concern regarding obviously the safety, welfare, whereabouts of these athletes."

Cameroon team manager Victor Agbor Nso told local media he had reported the matter to police on Wednesday.

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned that athletes would be forcibly removed from the country if they attempted to overstay their visas.

"They aren't going to game the system," he told local radio. "Australian Border Force officers will find these people (and) they'll be held in immigration detention until they can be deported."

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Topics : CWG 2018 Other Sports Boxing
Highlights
  • More than 100 athletes overstayed their visas at the 2000 Sydney Olympics
  • Eight athletes from conflict-hit Cameroon were said to be missing
  • The search continues for Cameroon's five boxers and three weightlifters
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