The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-Canberra
Eight athletes representing Cameroon at the Commonwealth Games have been reported missing to Australian police.
Five boxers and three weightlifters have disappeared from the athletes’ village at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
Cameroon chef de mission Victor Agbor Nso said in a statement: “The Cameroon Commonwealth team is sad to announce that eight of the 24 athletes they took to the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia are missing from their respective rooms in the Games village.
“These athletes left in three waves. First in the night of April 8 three athletes departed the village. Then on April 9 two others were declared missing and last night three others left their rooms.”
The athletes – two women and six men – were named as boxers Simplice Fotsala, Arsene Fokou, Ndzie Tchoyi, Ulrich Yombo and Christelle Ndiang; and weightlifters Olivier Matam, David Minkoumba Petit and Arcangeline Sonkbou Fouodji.
Two of the athletes had not yet competed.
Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive DavidGrevemberg said: “These athletes are guests here in Australia, they arestill within their visas and they have the right to travel freely.
“Right now we are worried about safety and welfare of the athletes and we are taking this very seriously and monitoring the situation with team Cameroon.”
This is not the first occasion in which athletes have been reported missing while competing abroad.
At the Commonwealth Games in 2006, 26 athletes and officials sought asylum in Australia.
14 were from Sierra Leone who later reported to immigration officials.
Seven Cameroonian athletes also disappeared from the athletes’ village during the London Olympics in 2012.