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HomeSportTwo Pakistani boxers 'go missing' in Birmingham after 2022 Commonwealth Games

Two Pakistani boxers ‘go missing’ in Birmingham after 2022 Commonwealth Games

Boxers Suleman Baloch & Nazeer Ullah were reported missing a few hours before the Pakistani squad, which consisted of five boxers and four officials, was to depart for Islamabad.

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New Delhi: Two boxers of Pakistan’s 2022 Commonwealth Games contingent were reported missing in Birmingham after the conclusion of the event Monday.

Boxers Suleman Baloch and Nazeer Ullah were found missing, confirmed Pakistan Boxing Federation Secretary Nasir Tang, a few hours before the Pakistani squad, which consisted of five boxers and four officials, was to depart for Islamabad.

Tang said, “The travel documents, including their passports, are still with federation officials who accompanied the boxing team to the games.”

Authorities in London, as well as the Pakistan High Commission in the United Kingdom, have been informed about their disappearance. The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has also set up a four-person committee to investigate the case of the missing boxers.

“We will not allow these boxers to tarnish the name of the country at any cost. British Police will soon find them,” said POA Secretary General Mohammad Khalid Mahmood.

Pakistan won a total of eight medals, including two gold at the Games. However, both boxers failed to impress in their respective competitions and did not secure any medal in the boxing tournament. While Baloch participated in the 60-63.5 kg category and lost against India’s Shiva Thapa, Nazeer Ullah participated in the 86-92 kg category and suffered defeat against England’s Lewis Williams.

Not the first time

This, however, is not the first time that Pakistani athletes have disappeared in foreign countries after a major sporting event. Two months prior to the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Pakistani national swimmer Faizan Akbar went missing while participating in the FINA World Championships in Hungary.

Akbar, who went missing with his passport and other paperwork, within hours of landing in Budapest, abandoned his 100m and 50m backstroke competitions. He has been missing since 18 June.

Pakistan is not the only country facing a crisis of disappearing athletes in this edition of the Commonwealth Games. Ten members of the Sri Lankan contingent have also gone missing in Birmingham. Nine athletes, including judoka Chamila Dilani, her manager Asela de Silva, and wrestler Shanith Chathuranga disappeared after the conclusion of the games.

Up to 19 African athletes from countries like Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda, among others, went missing during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Even some officials vanished during their teams’ events. A similar incident occurred during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where 10 athletes from the Sierra Leone contingent went missing after the games ended.

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