Simplice Fotsala’s brazen photos of himself living it up in Melbourne while on the lam have not impressed some Australians.
Simplice Fotsala’s brazen photos of himself living it up in Melbourne while on the lam have not impressed some Australians.

Athlete blasted: ‘Go back to Africa’

STAYOVER Commonwealth Games athlete Simplice Fotsala who posted brazen Facebook photos of himself on the run, has been told "go back to Africa".

It comes as it has been revealed the number of athletes and officials who have failed to leave Australia after the sporting event has skyrocketed to more than 250.

Since news.com.au revealed the Cameroonian boxer had posed around Melbourne landmarks while evading immigration authorities, Australians have taken to his Facebook page.

While French-speaking friends back in Cameroon told Simplice his plan to stay in Australia was "well played" and wished him "courage", Australians were not impressed.

"Go back to your country. You are illegal," one person posted.

"We don't want nor need likes (of) you here. If you can afford to come here to compete then you can afford to do things legally."

Another Facebook user said: "Not cool - Not Smart - Not Courageous.

"There are thousands of people lining up to get in to Australia legally. What you did is wrong! Jumping the queue is wrong and what the government giving in to this is TOTALLY WRONG!"

Keryn Apondak Mangok said it was right for Simplice to stay, "only if you box for Australia now since you never showed up to your fight".

 

Missing Cameroon athlete Simplice Fotsala salutes the camera while standing on a street in Melbourne’s CBD.
Missing Cameroon athlete Simplice Fotsala salutes the camera while standing on a street in Melbourne’s CBD.

 

Facebook posted Melody Anne slammed Simplice’s ‘cool’ and ‘courageous’ praise from fellow Cameroonians.
Facebook posted Melody Anne slammed Simplice’s ‘cool’ and ‘courageous’ praise from fellow Cameroonians.

Simplice Fotsala, it now seems, is just one of many people seeking to stay in the country after the Commonwealth Games was held on the Gold Coast last month.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed there are still 255 athletes in Australia, including 190 seeking asylum, 50 missing and 15 applying for other visas.

On the missing athletes, he told Today: "Border Force is working on that at the moment, but if people go to ground they are difficult to find. There will be a lot of work done with the state police forces to try and identify where these people are … it won't be easy, but they will pop up."

He accused the athletes of "taking advantage" of the Commonwealth Games, adding that 250 applications through this means is "completely unacceptable".

More than five weeks after the event ended, Border Force officials are now searching for 50 people who are unaccounted for. Another 205 have now been given bridging visas while their applications to stay are considered.

It is not known if Mr Fotsala is one of the athletes who successfully applied for the visa by the expiry date of midnight on May 15.

On his Facebook page, he appears to have posted photographs of himself living it up in Melbourne since vanishing from the Gold Coast games athletes' village last month.

 

Fotsala, circled among other Cameroonian athletes who competed in boxing or weightlifting.
Fotsala, circled among other Cameroonian athletes who competed in boxing or weightlifting.

On one of several Facebook pages belonging to the reportedly fun-loving 29-year-old, he openly poses, grinning and pointing, before Melbourne's Arts Centre and the Seafarers Bridge.

He is also pictured on some of Melbourne's city streets with his thumbs up and at a railway station by a train bound for the northeast Melbourne suburb of Morang.

Friends back in Cameroon seem to be applauding the fact he has got away with escaping.

In comments posted under the Facebook photos, friends say in French, "Cool my buddy, very well played," "Cool bro" and "Hoooooo, Australian".

Fotsala, an Olympian who also competed at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, is snapped dressed in three different outfits for the photographs which were posted on Facebook late last month.

The Cameroonian light flyweight champion is dressed casually in jeans and runners and in one photograph audaciously wears his red and black Commonwealth team slippers.

Some of the photographs, which appear to have been taken by someone else, are shot at night and some in broad daylight.

Simplice Fotsala may be among athletes who have applied for bridging visas to stay in Australia.
Simplice Fotsala may be among athletes who have applied for bridging visas to stay in Australia.


$30 million for Norco ice cream

premium_icon $30 million for Norco ice cream

Funding to cement Norco's place in ice-cream market for a long time

Gourmet cuisine, old favourites at show

premium_icon Gourmet cuisine, old favourites at show

Favourite foods on offer at this year's show

Local Partners