Organizers Worry As More African Athletes Disappear From Commonwealth Games
About five more African athletes have escaped from the Commonwealth Games, after eight Cameroonian competitors fled a day earlier, organizers said today.
Gold coast organizers said the athletes missing are from Rwanda, Uganda, and they are yet to find the whereabouts of two Sierra Leone squash players.
“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.
Grevemberg also stated that despite the search of the missing athletes from Cameroon, five boxers and three weightlifters, the welfare of the athletes still 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.”
Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned when the athletes are found, they would be forcefully sent out of the country, if they have overstayed their visa.
“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.”
Source: Naija News