Former Manchester United’s treble winning striker Dwight Yorke has been denied entry to the United States due to a visa problem stemming from an Iranian stamp on his passport received after having represented the “World Stars” in a charity football match against “Iranian Stars” in Tehran in 2015.
“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,” the former Trinidad and Tobago captain was quoted as saying by the Sun on Friday.
“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.
“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.”
The 45-year-old has played for English clubs like Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Sunderland besides Manchester United where he made his name along side strike partner Andy Cole.
Yorke has enjoyed a varied career since then and, having this week worked for BeIN Sports, was due to travel from Doha to Trinidad and Tobago, via Miami, on personal business on Friday.