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Monday, 20 February 2017

Former Manchester United striker was denied entry to the United States because he visited Iran for charity match

Former Manchester United footballer Dwight Yorke has been denied entry to the US because he visited Iran briefly in 2015 to play in a charity match.

The striker says he was not even allowed to board his flight to Trinidad and Tobago, via Miami, by officials on Friday.

The 45-year-old has been a pundit for various sports broadcasters since retiring from a playing career at a string of Premier League clubs.

He was in the Qatari capital Doha at the time as he had been working for Al Jazeera-linked beIN Sports.

He said what happened when be attempted to travel to his home country in the Caribbean made him "feel like a criminal".

"I couldn't quite believe what was happening," Yorke told the Sun.

"I have lost count of the number of times I have been to America, I love the country, yet I was being made to feel like a criminal.

"I had bought my ticket and checked in and was about to get on the flight when I was stopped by two officials.

"They told me there was a visa problem and a red flag had come up against my name because of an Iranian stamp in my passport. I went there to play in a legends match to open a stadium and didn't even stay overnight.

"The two officials told me if I got on the flight I would simply be deported back to Qatar once I arrived in the States.

"I tried to explain I didn't even live in Qatar and was just trying to get to my home in the Caribbean."

Although Yorke was only using Miami to transit to Trinidad and Tobago, the US usually requires travellers to go through its immigration procedures before heading on to their destinations.

Last month Donald Trump signed an executive order halting travel to the US for citizens of Iran, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The order was blocked by a US federal court but Mr Trump has said he will order a new ban to be put in place.

Soon after the first order was signed, four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia but trains in the US, said he was afraid he would be unable to re-enter the country.

On Friday, the Trump administration denied a report by the Associated Press that the government could mobilise up to 100,000 National Guard troops to round up illegal immigrants.

Source: Skye News

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