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C'Games organisers anxious as more Cameroon athletes disappear

12 April 2018

Organisers have urged athletes in Australia for the Commonwealth Games to respect the terms of their entry visas after Cameroon reported that a third of their team had gone missing on Wednesday.

In London during the Olympics, Cameroonian athletes left the competition without authorisation.

'Their team-mates informed us they had left.

Cameroon team manager Victor Agbor Nso expressed dismay at the news, admitting that it is potentially damaging for the country's image on the global stage and confirming that local police have been notified.

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A Border Force spokesman said the Australian Government had worked hard to ensure Games officials and athletes were aware of their visa responsibilities.

It is not the first time Cameroonian athletes have disappeared at a major sporting event.

"I think it is also important to remember that these athletes are guests here in Australia and are still within their visas and have the right to travel freely".

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had issued a warning to athletes in the lead-up to the Games not to overstay the visas they were issued to compete. There are a few areas we have noticed which require improvement and we have addressed them within the team. "It's very, very disappointing and very, very embarrassing for Cameroon".

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"No (I'm not panicking) We are still in the middle of the journey, and I previously said that there are two teams (to watch out for), namely England and India, and tonight (April 9) India have beaten Malaysia, and this is not necessarily an unsatisfactory performance. Nobody knows the direction they have gone", Cameroon team spokesman Simon Lyonga told CNN affiliate Seven News. "The pious hope is that they come back to the village and travel home with the others", he said. But I think it will be hard.

Mr Molombe promised there would be no reprisals if the five athletes returned.

A year ago there were violent clashes as protesters took to the streets in Cameroon's Anglophone regions calling for symbolic independence from the country's French-speaking majority.

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C'Games organisers anxious as more Cameroon athletes disappear