Monday, 22 October, 2018

Eight Cameroon Athletes Bail From The Commonwealth Games Village

Sarah Mehain competes in the 50-metre butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia Sarah Mehain competes in the 50-metre butterfly at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia
Isaac Mcdaniel | 12 April, 2018, 07:23

Gold Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie has urged the athletes, one of whom has not even turned up for competition, to return to their team.

Worldwide athletes are urged to follow their visa guidelines amid reports that five athletes from Cameroon have disappeared from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Village.

Five boxers and three weightlifters - representing a third of the Cameroon team - disappeared from the athletes' village at Griffith University on Wednesday, the Cameroon delegation declared.

The athletes - two women and six men - were named as boxers Simplice Fotsala, Arsene Fokou, Ndzie Tchoyi, Ulrich Yombo and Christelle Ndiang, plus weightlifters Olivier Matam, David Minkoumba Petit and Arcangeline Sonkbou Fouodji.

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.

Team Cameroon officials have notified Australia police of the situation, as well as state officials in their home country.

"Peter Dutton did warn about this and he will pursue the matter if it gets to that point".

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Indeed, this is not the first time that Australia has had such problems as more than 100 athletes overstayed their visas having gained entry to the country via their participation at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

'We would appreciate them sticking within the law, enjoying themselves, but sticking within the law, that includes Cameroon and any other athletes.

Cameroon said the group had valid Australian visas until 15 May. "Nobody knows the direction they have gone", Cameroon team spokesman Simon Lyonga told CNN affiliate Seven News. "We would simply take them back to Cameroon".

"I think it's disappointing that athletes that have come didn't compete as they were scheduled to compete", he said.

"Until it becomes a real issue in terms of visas and so forth we would obviously need to take that very seriously but right now it's a safety and welfare issue for those athletes from a Team Cameroon perspective".

In the Games in Glasgow four years ago, the national contingent finished 12th overall, with six gold, seven silver and six bronze medals.

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