Missing Commonwealth athletes seek asylum in Sydney

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018

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

The group includes eight athletes from Cameroon, two from Uganda and a Rwandan Para-powerlifting coach.

The Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Randwick says some of the 11 athletes have asked for help with visas.

Athletes from Cameroon enter the stadium for the Opening Ceremony.

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

He said they were "taking the mickey". "The reality is that assistance is unfunded".

"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. We just hope there's a fair legal process.

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

Home Affairs officials have refused to confirm if any of the missing athletes or officials have returned home since the Games finished on April 15.

"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.

"It's important to remember that these athletes are guests here in Australia at this time, they are still within their visas, they have a right to travel freely", he said.

The Sierra Leone athletes were among 40 who absconded from the Melbourne Games.

Olivier Heracles Matam Matam of Cameroon competes during the weightlifting men's 62kg final.

"If people have claims to make, or they have submissions to put to the department, then we'll consider all of that in due course", Dutton said.

"But if people have breached their visa conditions - like anyone else, they're expected to operate within the law, and enforcement action will take place to identify those people and to deport them if they don't self-declare".