Home / English / Eight Cameroon athletes go missing at Australia’s Commonwealth Games (UPDATED)

Eight Cameroon athletes go missing at Australia’s Commonwealth Games (UPDATED)

CNN | A third of Cameroon’s athletes attending the Commonwealth Games in Australia have gone missing, the team said in a statement Wednesday.

Out of the total team of 24 members, five boxers and three weightlifters have disappeared over the space of three days, the statement said.
They left in waves, with three going missing on the night of April 8, another two vanishing on April 9 before the remaining group left at night on April 10. Two of the eight left without competing.
Team attache Simon Molombe said he did not expect them to return. “I don’t think they will be back,” Cameroon’s Molombe told CNN Sport, confirming their disappearance had been reported to Australian police.
According to the team statement, the missing athletes are:
Weight lifter Arcangeline Fouodji Sonkbou

  • Boxer Arsene Fokou
  • Boxer Christelle Ndiang
  • Boxer Christian Ndzie Tchoyi
  • Weight lifter Olivier Hercales Matam Matam
  • Weight lifter Petit David Minkoumba
  • Boxer Simplice Fotsala
  • Boxer Ulrich Yombo

“Most of them departed in the night when everyone was sleeping. Nobody knows the direction they have gone,” Cameroon team spokesman Simon Lyonga told CNN affiliate Seven News.
According to Seven, the athletes’ visa requirements expire on May 15, allowing them to spend another month legally in Australia.

David Grevemberg, Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, said the situation remained an issue for the Cameroon team until the athletes breached their visas.

“It is obviously disappointing that some of the athletes who have come didn’t compete when scheduled to compete,” he said at a press conference Wednesday.

“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.”

Cameroon’s Simplice Fotsala (left), pictured during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 6, is one of the athletes listed as missing.

The 2018 Games are currently underway in the Gold Coast in the Australian State of Queensland. They’re expected to conclude on Sunday April 15.

More than 4,500 athletes from 71 countries will take part during the course of the games, which began on April 5, competing for a total of 275 gold medals
It is not the first time athletes have disappeared during major sporting events.

During the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 25 competitors went missing, while 26 disappeared during the 2002 Games in Manchester.

Olivier Heracles Matam Matam of Cameroon, here competing on April 5, has been listed missing by his team.

At London 2012, seven Cameroon athletes disappeared during the Olympics.
Home to 200 different linguistic groups, French Cameroon gained independence from France in 1960 as the Republic of Cameroon.

Last year there were violent clashes as protestors took to the streets in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions calling for symbolic independence from the country’s French-speaking majority.
Peter Beattie, chairman of the local organizing committee, said it was not a surprise.

“Frankly, the bottom line is it happens regularly within Australia, there is a mechanism in place to deal with it and I don’t get too excited by this,” he told reporters Wednesday.
In January, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton warned athletes who were planning to attend the games they needed to follow the country’s laws.

“Our message to the half a percent of people who might think that they can overstay a visa or not act within the conditions of their visa is that Australia has very tough laws and they need to abide by the law,” he said in Canberra on January 30.

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  1. Nice attires.

    • But the uprooted African warlock is observing the beauty of the African attires with the mind of an Englishman!

      • Weed has numbed your dreadlock wrapped brains to the level of forgetting the ngraffi ngraffi chants that rang from your mouth here several moons ago. The ngraffi regalia is strengely beautiful to your narcotized eyes!

        • …strangely…

        • @Firefighter,
          If you can recall, I once shared an apt observation from Reverend Eugene Ndasa More (R.I.P.) that whenever he used his index finger to point to something, some members of the congregation focused on his finger rather than the object he pointed to. You see this at work, nicht wahr?

          Alternatively, it is the usual psychosis at work, embellished by an unrelenting and unconquerable Malapropism.

        • Says the ancient warlock that is under the spell of cognitive dissonance! You know the meaning of malapropism?

  2. Citizens are deserting Biya’s ISLAND OF EVIL in droves.

    • Those Francophones who turned their backs on “one and indivisible” LRC, will now be seeking asylum in Australia claiming to be Anglophone “secessionists”. WONDERS SHALL NEVER END.

  3. Run for your future brothers,
    Camaeroon has has no hope for you guys
    Even if it is me, i will run for for a better future.
    It has being long for me without seeing a mud road or stay without electricity.
    So why should i stay in cameruon?

  4. Nothing good ever comes from Yaounde

    The harder it comes for LRC. Let s tweet to CAF. LRC is walalawa

  5. Beyond the platitudes, concerned citizens ought to turn to more serious issues, beginning with the security of the escapees. Have they probably been abducted Nigerian-style? Surely they have not turned into vapour and disappeared into thin air; so someone must be lodging them legally/illegally. What role, if any, does the Cameroon embassy play in securing them?

  6. Cameroon is one and indivisible and yet the same francophone who are singing the song of an indivisible Cameroon are the first to abandoned the Cameroon team and go to seek for asylum.So where is the indivisible Cameroon?

    • It shows to what extent people live in falsehood, saying one thing but practising its direct opposite. When you have any dealings with such persons, document everything and have credible witnesses! As dialogue approaches,…

  7. This is main reason why La Republique du French Cameroun wants to use the Southern Cameroons to rain in the Commonwealth. It serves as opportunity for them to export their citizens to Commonwealth country either by crook or by hook. None of those escapees is Southern Cameroonians. That must summarizes why La Republique du French Cameroun want Southern Cameroons as their territory. Just for selfish gains.

  8. Emerald Obiohwu

    Cameroon francophone deserting the Cameroon team at the commonwealth games to seek for political asylum in Australia?What are they running away from?Are they not the majority in Cameroon and the main power brokers?Are the francophones not the ones who have declared a war against the Anglophone minority? Why run away from your beautiful country?Who wants to kill you when you are the ones killing Anglophones.The Australian foreign ministry should take note that all those Cameroonians who have fled from the games are not from the Anglophone part of the country and are therefore not under any threat..They are francophone and must be tracked down .They have no reason to seek for asylum.

    • Welcome to the world of survival antics. Today, like in the past, one uses the hottest selling commodity to seek asylum – membership of the SDF, Anglophone community, etc
      Here creativity knows no bounds!

  9. Cameroon is in the Commonwealth Because of the NorWest and Southwest Regions of the Country and Now the Region is in crisis .Since Paul Biya doesn’t want to Solve the Anglophone Crisis, Cameroon has no business being in the Commonwealth !

  10. English is seen in Cameroon as a language spoken by second class citizens..
    English is seen as a language spoken by primitive people..
    But when these backward Thugs come out of that retarded country because Anglophones took them to the common wealth, they are the first to run and hide….
    Those from the Francophone zone will even use the Anglophone crisis to seek asylum claiming they are from the NWP and SWP and are being killed by the regime of Paul Biya..
    Its just crazy how strange we are…
    English is spoken by anglos…Primitive people, but they want to go and speak French in the USA and Australia…
    really strange people , these our Frog brothers…