Missing: Seven athletes from Cameroon ‘absconded’ from Olympic village amid asylum fears
Seven athletes from Cameroon have gone missing in Britain after competing in the Olympics, sparking fears they have fled the Games to claim asylum.
The five boxers, swimmer and a footballer have all disappeared from the athletes’ village at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.
David Ojong, the head of mission for Team Cameroon, confirmed that the group were reported missing earlier this week.
All seven athletes would have had visas allowing them to remain in the UK until November and it is understood that none of the seven have claimed asylum.
David Ojong told Cameroonian media that of 60 athletes and officials living in the village, 28 have gone home, 24 were still in the village and seven have disappeared.
The missing athletes include all five of the team’s boxers – Thomas Essomba, who competed in the 49kg category, Christian Donfack Adjoufack in the 80kg, Abdon Mewoli in the 60kg, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo in the plus 91kg and Terv Sheldonomo in the 364kg – who disappeared over the weekend.
The others were Drusille Ngako, 25, a stand-by goalkeeper for Cameroon’s women’s team, and swimmer Paul Ekane Edingue, 21.
Cameroonian athletes are known to have gone missing at previous international sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games. Once they have left the athletes’ village, the absconders are very difficult to find and apprehend.
Occasionally, the bright lights and many attractions of the bars in the Olympic village and beyond are hard to resist, and there have been numerous sightings of one of the missing men throughout the week.