According to the report, the girls, aged 18, 19 and 20, escaped from the hotel to avoid going back to their homeland,, which is plagued by civil war and violence. Organisers of the World Junior Women’s Handball Championships reported the trio’s disappearance to police on Friday morning. The Congo team were staying at the Picok hotel in Đurđevac were the tournament has been held. It is suspected that they girls will seek asylum. Police are still looking for the trio.
It is not the first time athletes from Congo have ‘disappeared’ during sporting events abroad. During the Olympics in London around 20 African athletes, including some from Congo, went missing in the hope to seek asylum. The World Junior Handball Champs ends on 13 July in Croatia.