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Over 50 Commonwealth Games athletes in Australia 'illegally'

PICTURED: Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou is one of the reported missing athletes (Photo credit: AAP Image/ Dean Lewins)

AROUND 50 competitors are reported to have remained in Australia illegally, following the Commonwealth Games.

A Government official said nearly 200 others hold bridging visas and are applying for refugee status, but Australia has warned it will deport those who stay in the country illegally, after dozens of competitors disappeared from the competition.

According to BBC, Malisa Golightly, from the department of home affairs, told a Senate committee on Monday (May 21) that the government "had no contact" with the missing athletes, but added: "We know they haven't left."

She said that around 190 of the 205 athletes and officials in the country legally are seeking protection visas. The remaining number are applying for business or other visas.

Australian media had speculated that anywhere between 20 and 100 athletes had absconded during the Golden Coast Games, which ended on 15 April.

They included eight members of Cameroon's delegation, as well as participants from Uganda, Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

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