February 22, 2018 By Sahr Morris Jnr
Sports Authorities in Sierra Leone have warned athletes against any thought of overstaying in Australia after the 2018 Commonwealth Games, insisting that such thoughts must be banished.
According to the President of the National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone (NOC-SLE), Dr. Patrick Coker, athletes who decided to overstate could face the consequences, adding that this would be the first time legal paper would be out against such action before the games.
He further stated that stringent measures were in place to monitor members during the event.
Deputy Director of Sports, Shamus Mustapha, who is also a member of the Commonwealth Advisory Board on Sport (CABOS), in his submission, advised all athletes to think twice and the consequence of staying back.
He said: “It will be at anyone disadvantage of deciding to defect because Australia is having very strong immigration measures.”
The sports officials’ warning was followed by with the distribution of an article which the Australia authorities in January warned athletes planning to compete in the Games that anyone caught overstaying their visas after the event will be dealt with firmly.
The warning came two months before athletes and support staff from around the world would flood the Gold Coast for the Games.
“Australia’s reputation of being tough on border security and cancelling visas for people who don’t abide by Australian laws won’t be compromised,” said Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton.
“I’m sure the city, the state and the nation will do all we can to make sure they have a fabulous time,” he told Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper of the visiting athletes.