Ex-Manchester United star Dwight Yorke denied entry to US

Ex-Manchester United star Dwight Yorke denied entry to US
The former Manchester United ace was barred from passing through the US on his way to Trinidad from Qatar, as debate continues on strict American visa rules.
2 min read
18 February, 2017
Dwight Yorke appears in a match for Manchester United legends vs Real Madrid legends
Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke was prevented from entering the US as he made his way to Trinidad and Tobago from Qatar, because of an Iranian stamp in his passport.

He was "made to feel like a criminal" during the ordeal, the one-time premier league star told UK tabloid The Sun, though travel restrictions in place since 2015 were the reason he was denied entry.

"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."

"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."

The ex-footballer said he'd visited Iran once for a charity match.

"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."

Yorke fell victim to amendments to the US visa waiver programme, which were imposed by President Barack Obama's administration in 2015.

The amendment prohibited nationals of visa waiver programme countries who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011".

"These individuals will still be able to apply for a visa using the regular appointment process at a US Embassy or Consulate."

Yorke made 96 appearances for English club Manchester United, scoring 52 goals, and played a significant part en route to their dramatic comeback against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final.

In January, President Donald Trump tried to stop refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries - including Iran - from entering the US.

Federal courts soon quashed the president's executive order, but tensions remain high concerning travel from the predominantly Muslim countries.