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Seven Cameroonian Athletes Missing

They include five boxers, a swimmer and female footballer.

What began as rumour has finally turned out to be true. Seven Cameroonian athletes who participated at the 2012 London Olympic Games have disappeared from the Olympic Village.

Yesterday, during a meeting presided over by the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Adoum Garoua at the Olympic village to galvanise the two athletes left in the competition, the head of Mission for Team Cameroon, David Ojong revealed that out of the 60 athletes and officials of the Cameroon delegation living in the Olympic Village, 28 have gone home, 24 still in the village and seven defected. The seven include; five boxers, one swimmer and a goalkeeper of the national female football team.

It all began on July 2nd 2012, when 25-year-old Drusille Ngako, a stand-bye goalkeeper of the female national football team disappeared. Ngako, goalkeeper of Lorema, a Yaounde based female football team alongside three other players were not retained in the final list of eighteen players to take part in the Olympic Games. In order to maintain cohesion since the Africa Female Nations Cup was in the horizon, the technical staff with permission from the hierarchy decided to keep the four players. But while her team-mates were in Coventry for their last encounter against New Zealand, the young girl vanished.

Her example was emulated by Edingue Ekane Paul, one of two athletes that represented Cameroon in swimming. A few days after the 21-year-old freestyle athlete was bashed from the medal race, he was nowhere to be found. No traces of his belongings, while his bed was empty.

Last Sunday morning, it was the turn of all the five boxers who represented Cameroon at the London Olympic Games to disappear from the village. The five boxers, Essomba Thomas who competed in the 49 kg category, Donfack Adjoufack in the 80kg, Mewoli Abdon in the 60 kg, Yepmou Mendouo in the plus 91 kg and Serge Abomo 64 kg were in their first Olympic Games participation. Their disappearance is not only an embarrassment, but a great surprise to members of the Team Cameroon delegation and Cameroonians based in London having feasted with four of them last Friday at the Royal Garden Hotel, where a reception was organised in honour of the athletes.

It should be noted that it is not the first time Cameroonian athletes are disappearing during international sports competition. At the Francophonie, Commonwealth Games and junior soccer competitions, several African athletes were lured by scouts to quit their delegations without the consent of their officials for greener pasture. While a handful of them end-up competing for other countries, a greater number of them end up frustrated


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