Football: Manchester United and Sydney FC legend Dwight Yorke has been denied entry to the United States.
FORMER Sydney FC marquee man and Manchester United ambassador Dwight Yorke says he has been denied entry into the United States because of an Iranian stamp in his passport.
“I couldn’t quite believe what was happening. 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,” Yorke told The Sun.
“I had bought my ticket and checked in and was about to get on the flight when I was stopped by two officials.
“I thought ‘what is happening here?’ 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.”
Yorke, who had worked the previous day for BeIN Sports in Qatar as a pundit on United’s Europa League win over French club St Etienne, confirmed the story to Sky Sports after colleague Richard Keys tweeted the news.
“Well done @realDonaldTrump. Man U ambassador Dwight Yorke denied transit access to Miami cause he has Iranian stamp in passport. #crazy,” Keys wrote.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) February 17, 2017
Another Sky Sports colleague, Kaveh Solhekol, said Yorke had confirmed the news to him too.
“Dwight Yorke confirms he’s been denied entry to the US because of Iranian stamp in his passport. (Played in Tehran charity match in 2015)” Solhekol wrote.
Dwight Yorke confirms he’s been denied entry to the US because of Iranian stamp in his passport. (Played in Tehran charity match in 2015.)
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) February 17, 2017
That 2015 charity match in Tehran featured Yorke on a World Stars team that also included Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Fabio Cannavaro, Marcel Desailly and Edgar Davids.
“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,” Yorke told The Sun.
“I tried to explain I didn’t even live in Qatar and was just trying to get to my home in the Caribbean (to Trinidad & Tobago, via Miami).”
US President Donald Trump had issued an executive order banning travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the US for 90 days.
The ban has since been suspended in a series of court rulings for constitutional reasons but Yorke still claims to have been prevented from entering the country.