By Liam Morgan |
Boxers Bashir Nasir and Regarn Simbwa and table tennis player Halima Nambozo have become the latest Ugandan athletes to go missing in Australia following the end of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
According to reports on the AllAfrica website, the three vanished from the Athletes’ Village before the Ugandan team was due to fly home.
It brings the total number of Ugandan competitors to have absconded to five after weightlifters Irene Kasuubo and Khalid Batuusa disappeared during the Games.
The disappearance of Tanzanian table tennis player Fatia Fazi has also been reported.
The number of African athletes and officials to have gone missing has now grown to 18 after eight Cameroonians, Rwandan powerlifting coach Paul Nsengiyumva, two from Sierra Leone and Kenyan boxer Brian Agina also disappeared.
They all have a legal right to stay in Australia until May 15, the date their visas expire, and it is not known whether they will remain in the country or return home.
Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee vice-president Festus Bizimana admitted that the whereabouts of Nsengiyumva, who reportedly disappeared after going to the toilet during the competition, are still unknown.
Agina became the latest athlete confirmed to have absconded after Kenyan team officials said he could not be found at the Athletes’ Village.
The Kenyan athlete, knocked out of the preliminary round stage of the 52 kilograms event by Pakistan’s Syed Muhammad during the Games, attended the Closing Ceremony on Sunday (April 15) but went missing the following day as the team prepared to depart Australia.
Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had issued a warning to athletes in the lead-up to Gold Coast 2018 not to overstay the visas they were issued to compete.
Dutton had warned athletes that there were “penalties for those who do the wrong thing””.
Ugandan athletes were also warned against vanishing during Gold Coast 2018 in the lead-up to the event.
Two Ugandan rugby sevens players, Benon Kizza and Philip Pariyo, went missing after Glasgow 2014.
They were reportedly seen working at a car wash in Cumbernauld, a town 14 miles to the north-east of Glasgow, but were later found living at a hostel for asylum seekers in Cardiff.
It maintains a trend of African athletes disappearing at major events, many of whom are seeking improved social and economic living conditions.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.