"their passports are still with federation officials"
Two Pakistani boxers have reportedly gone missing following the end of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Games ended on August 8, 2022, and Pakistan won eight medals, including two gold.
Now, two boxers have gone missing.
Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) secretary Nasir Tang said that the boxers in question were Suleman Baloch and Nazeerullah.
Their absence was noted just a few hours before the team’s departure for Islamabad.
Mr Tang explained that the athletes’ travel documents were still in the possession of the federation officials as per the standard procedure for all athletes who travel from Pakistan.
He said: “The travel documents including their passports are still with federation officials who accompanied the boxing team to the games.”
It is not known why the Pakistani boxers decided not to return with the rest of the athletes but according to The Express Tribune, it is “a suspected bid to remain in England and escape returning to their homeland that is facing a high unemployment and inflation rate”.
Nasir Tang explained that the Pakistan High Commission in the UK has been informed as well as the authorities.
The police has also been informed.
The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has set up a four-man committee to investigate the curious situation.
In a statement, the POA said: “We will not allow these boxers to tarnish the name of the country at any cost. British Police will soon find them.”
Both Pakistani boxers lost convincingly to their opponents at the Games.
Baloch lost to India’s Shiva Thapa while Nazeerullah was defeated by England’s Lewis Williams.
Despite both boxers disappearing, this is not the first time that a Pakistani athlete has gone missing after travelling overseas to represent their nation.
Swimmer Faizan Akbar, who represented the country at the FINA World Championships in Hungary, had also disappeared without a trace.
He vanished with his relevant travel documents and passport merely two hours after arriving in the country on June 18, 2022, abandoning his 100m and 50m backstroke events, and remains untraceable to this day.
However, the disappearance of athletes is not something that Pakistan is dealing with exclusively.
Ten members of the Sri Lankan team have also gone missing in Birmingham. Nine athletes, including judoka Chamila Dilani and wrestler Shanith Chathuranga, and Dilani’s manager, Asela de Silva, disappeared shortly after the Games concluded.