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Cameroon

7 Olympic Athletes

VANISH

8/7/2012 10:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0807_cameroon_flag_olympics_players_missing_Article
Seven Olympic athletes from Cameroon have mysteriously disappeared from the athletes' village in London ... in what appears to be an effort to abandon their home country and seek asylum in the UK.

The head of mission for Team Cameroon said the athletes in question -- 5 boxers, a swimmer, and a soccer player -- all have visas that will allow them to remain in Britain 'til at least November.

The soccer player -- a reserve goalkeeper for the women's soccer team named Drusille Ngako -- was the first to disappear, followed by swimmer Paul Edingue Ekane.

The five boxers -- Thomas Essomba, Christian Donfack Adjoufack, Abdon Mewoli, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo and Serge Ambomo -- disappeared on Sunday. They had all already been eliminated from the games.

0807_Thomas-Essomba-subasset-getty
It's not the first time Cameroon athletes have disappeared during international sports competitions -- several quit their delegation without consent at the recent Francophonie and Commonwealth games.

Britain's Home Office -- the department responsible for immigration -- wouldn't comment on whether any of the seven had applied for asylum.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
50 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

STFUP    

I'm honestly surprised we haven't heard the same story about athletes from North Korea.
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I'm guessing what keeps them from defecting is the threat of what would be done to the families they left behind if they defected.
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Heck, N. Korea already 'punishes' it's athletes who don't bring home medals by sending them to work camps.

774 days ago
17.

priceless    

Once again proving that freedom is the most valuable commodity.

774 days ago
18.

yenny    

Well, do some research on Cameroon, and you'll see why they would want to leave. Great Britain used to govern part of the country which is now in high poverty and are being alienated from the Cameroon government. I don't blame them for trying to seek asylum!

774 days ago
19.

Cindy    

They must have incredibly hard lives to give up their Olympic dreams in favor of having better futures elsewhere. I hope they receive asylum and aren't returned to their countries where they may be hurt, or their families may be hurt in retaliation by the government.

774 days ago
20.

RoadRig    

Isn't this a form of treason?

774 days ago
21.

sidithers    

God Bless America
Land that everyone puts down but wants wants to live in

774 days ago
22.

slimsah    

Is this for real? Why is TMZ the only people reporting this? It's not on CNN, NBCNEWS, or local news websites????

774 days ago
23.

jokerchick    

ummm, OK

774 days ago
24.

DavisMc    

Cameroooooon!

774 days ago
25.

Meme    

Apply for asylum?! Naw they did apply for Asylum! This is what they do. Many people from west African countries do their best to compete in tournaments, soccer competitions and yes, even the olympics because they are able to get visas to visit other countries to play in these tournaments. The visas may only be for a week sometimes. But then they dissappear and overstay their visas.....That was the plan ALL ALONG. The sad thing is though that many don't realize that other countries don't allow illegals to work in their coutries so these people end up living the same type of impoverished life they had at home.

774 days ago
26.

MICHAEL JACKSON/TOM CRUISE FAN FOR LIVE    

most of you posting here know nothing about cameroon one of the most peaceful countries in the world, very beautiful and with friendly people it is not a doom place to be it is far better than America or GB. I have been there many times place is wonderful food is supper cool nothing artificial

774 days ago
27.

Meme    

@ MICHAEL JACKSON/TOM CRUISE FAN FOR LIVE

*****ians, Ghanians, and people from Cameroon are all nice people. In fact Ghanians are know world wide for for their wonderful sense of hospitality and positive attitude. I didn't read where anyone said the people weren't nice. Nor did I read where anyone said that the countries weren't beautiful. Nor did I read where anyone said that Cameroon was not a peaceful place. But I for one speak from experience. Obviously having tasty food and a beautiful land is not enough to satiate people who don't know if the power is going to be on from one day to the next and can't depend on having good water quality and can't find good jobs because there aren't any or live in a place where the money is so devalued that they can NEVER travel to another country because they almost always are denied travel visas because they can't meet the monetary requirements or proof of strong ties to their own country because they don't own anything that we consider to be of value. Some of us DO know what we are talking about. That is why when ever you hear a person from an African country say they are just in the US or any European country for the education and then they are going to go home because they love it there so much.......wait and wait and wait some more for the day they get on the plane to go back home after earnig their degrees. It rarely happens. Why because life their isn't so great and they know it. They might miss loved ones and local food and customs but ony enough to visit their home country from time to time. They rarely go back home. Know what YOU are talking about before you criticize others and ENJOY YOUR DAY!

774 days ago
28.

Daniel Asamota    

So what's goin' on in Cameroon that they feel they need to do this?

773 days ago
29.

Brendan    

Good for them. What do you expect?

773 days ago
30.

camerounanonymous    

The truth is, those “athletes” did not disappear these is just another face of the camerounian corruption, these are just ordinary people that pose as athletes, pay a lot money to those in charge of the selection so that they can easily obtain a visa and go to Europe to have a better life, in order to avoid the completion they had to leave.
Cameroun has great athletes but being the best is no longer enough, It’s all about money. If an athlete wants to go to the world cup or Olympics he/ she is required to pay for the ticket, hotel and an addition €5000 to the selection team in the country where the average salary is €150/month.
Most of the great athletes are from poor families and cannot afford that amount of money. Since the rise of Eto’o, the game has changed It’s all about money, performances do no longer count and it’s a shame . recently there was a do***entary on Aljazeera about the football corruption in Cameroun where those victim were given a voice. It would take year to change the mentalities but in the meantime, the young generation of Cameroonians do no longer believe in the world cup or Olympics. We just hope that one day an international committee can be sent to these poor countries during the selection and allow the young generation to live their dreams and participate to something so great and magical like the Olympics or world cup.

769 days ago
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