Cameroon Athletes Vanish in London

Thought to be seeking asylum

Caty Enders

Seven Olympic athletes from Cameroon have disappeared from the Olympic Village in a presumed attempt to seek asylum in Europe. A reserve goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team was the first to vanish, followed by a swimmer who had failed to advance, and five boxers who had all completed their matches in London. “The conditions in Cameroon are very difficult—there are no opportunities here and if you have the chance to go the UK, it’s understandable that you would want to stay there,” Henri Tchounga, a tour guide in Yaounde, told The Guardian. Before the opening ceremonies, Sudan’s embassy confirmed that three athletes from their delegation had gone missing, all expected to apply for asylum. Olympic athletes are given visas that entitle them to stay in the country until November, so no laws have been broken by their absence. When asked by Reuters about the Cameroonian athletes’ disappearance on Tuesday, I.O.C. officials said they had heard nothing about it.

Via Reuters