Missing athletes and coach face deportation from Australia

Cameroon's Simplice Fotsala went missing after competing at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast

Cameroon's Simplice Fotsala went missing after competing at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast

"If they don't want to be held in detention or locked up at the local watch house, they'd better jump on a plane before the 15th and comply with their visas conditions".

Missing Commonwealth Games athletes from Africa have reportedly resurfaced in Sydney.

The group are consulting with the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in the Sydney suburb of Randwick, to determine if they can stay in the country, the Daily Telegraph reports. All the Cameroon athletes, except for boxer Christian Ndzie Tsoye, had competed.

Dale said she was unable to give precise numbers because of privacy issues, but said it was more than 19.

They were said to have absconded over three consecutive nights.

"The men, women and families who are recognised as needing protection in Australia are allowed to remain only after a complex and hard process", Dale said.

"It took me about three to four months to get permanent residency, but I know for some of my colleagues it took two years", Mr Karasa told the ABC.

A solicitor working with RACS confirmed the athletes have sought "advice" however did not specify exactly who had met.

"I know some of them have already had interviews with immigration", David Addington, chairman of Sydney's Northern Beaches Refugee Sanctuary, was quoted as saying.

The visa is said to be expiring on Tuesday, after which, if found, they will be detained and deported unless they have applications for another in progress.

Cameroon weightlifter Olivier Matam was one of the athletes who went missing.

On Monday afternoon, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said "enforcement action" would start "almost straight away" in relation to any Commonwealth Games athletes who overstayed their visa. Two weightlifters from Cameroon, Francois Etoundi and Simplice Ribouem, were both granted refugee status and competed for Australia in 2018. "We don't have any vested interest in the outcomes".

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