Pakistani boxer Suleman Baloch (centre) and Nazeerullah Khan (left) pose with another colleague during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (Image courtesy: Instagram/boxersulemanbaloch)
In an incident that is certainly not the first of its kind, two Pakistani boxers have reportedly gone missing in England following the conclusion of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
A leading Pakistani daily revealed on Thursday that boxers Suleman Baloch and Nazirullah disappeared from the Birmingham airport due to negligence of the Pakistan Olympic Association and Boxing Federation of Pakistan.
Baloch had suffered a crushing 0-5 defeat at the hands of India's former Asiad gold winner Shiva Thapa in the first round of the 63.5kg category on July 29.
"Two boxers of Pakistan's 2022 Commonwealth Games contingent have gone missing in Birmingham in a suspected bid to remain in England and escape returning to their homeland that is facing a high unemployment and inflation rate," said the report in The Express Tribune.
It further revealed that the travel documents of both the boxers were in possession of the team management "which made their disappearance more suspicious".
The Pakistani boxing contingent at the CWG consisted of five boxers and four officials but only three pugilists and four officials travelled back to Islamabad airport.
Both boxers had put up a poor show in the Games, losing convincingly to their opponents in the lightweight and 63 kg, respectively.
While Baloch lost to India's Shiva Thapa, Nazeerullah suffered defeat at the hands of local favourite Lewis Williams in the heavyweight category.
The report mentioned that the London Police have been informed about the incident.