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World of Sport

11th Apr 2018

Shock as eight Cameroon athletes reported missing from Commonwealth Games

Matthew Gault

Cameroon athletes

They have not been seen since Tuesday.

Eight athletes from the Cameroon Commonwealth Games team have been reported missing. Five boxers and three weightlifters have not been seen since Tuesday amid suspicions they have fled with no intention of returning to their conflict-riven homeland.

The Cameroon team manager, Victor Agbor Nso, told the country’s state broadcaster that the Cameroonian ministry of sports have been notified. The Australian authorities have also been informed.

“We have officially informed our hierarchy back home: the ministry of sports and the president of the National Olympic Committee of Cameroon,” said Victor Agbor Nso. 

“We have also laid formal complaint to the Australian police.”

The missing athletes are weightlifters Olivier Matam Matam, Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou and Petit Minkoumba, and boxers Christian Ndzie Tsoye, Simplice Fotsala, Arsene Fokou, Ulrich Yombo and Christelle Ndiang.

“The authorities are very disappointed with the deserters – some did not even compete,” press attache Simon Molombe said.

“The pious hope is that they come back to the village and travel home with the others.”

Cameroon has been hit by civil unrest in recent months from civil unrest after a military crackdown on English-speaking separatists which has resulted in dozens of deaths, hundreds of imprisonments and thousands escaping across the border to Nigeria.

This is not the first time a group of athletes have been reported missing from a major sporting event. Following the 2012 Olympics in London, at least 21 athletes absconded, including seven from Cameroon, while over 40 athletes from several African nations sought asylum in Melbourne following the 2006 Commonwealth Games.