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Missing Commonwealth athletes seek asylum in Sydney

CAMEROON: Athletes who went missing after the Commonwealth Games in Australia have shown up in Sydney

A GROUP of athletes who disappeared during the Commonwealth Games are reportedly seeking legal advice in a bid to stay in Australia.

They arrived in Sydney less than 24 hours before their visas expired to leave Australia, or risk detention or deportation.

The 11 athletes who come from Cameroon are consulting with Refugee Advice and Casework Service in the Sydney suburb of Randwick.

Before the games came to an end, several athletes from African nations failed to participate in the events.

They were said to have absconded over three consecutive nights. The Cameroon team’s press attaché said: “They just left in the night. When we got up in the morning, they were not there.

It’s very, very disappointing and very, very embarrassing for Cameroon.”

The spokesman added he “doesn’t think they’ll come back”.

But the athletes’ disappearance was not of an immediate concern to Australian officials.

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said:
“It’s obviously disappointing that some of the athletes who have come to compete didn’t compete as they were scheduled to compete.

“It’s important to remember that these athletes are guests here in Australia at this time, they are still within their visas, they have a right to travel freely,” he said.

This disappearance is not the first time African athletes have fled international sporting events. Seven fled the London Olympic Games in 2012.

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