MIAMI, USA -- Former Manchester United star and Trinidad and Tobago international football player Dwight Yorke has been denied entry into the US because he has an Iranian stamp in his passport. Yorke was stopped on Friday morning in Qatar en route to Trinidad and Tobago via Miami.
Yorke said: “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.
“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.”
Dwight Yorke playing in a charity football match in Tehran in 2015. Photo: Hossein Heidarpour
The Iranian stamp in Yorke's passport related to him playing in a charity match in Tehran in 2015.
Yorke, who travels all over the world and regularly plays in United Legends XIs overseas, was apparently refused entry to the US under the border controls recently put in place last month by President Donald Trump banning individuals from seven Muslim countries, including Iran.
Approved refugees, valid visa holders, non-US dual citizens and US legal residents were detained, barred from flights to the US or denied entry to the US immediately following the order.
After joining Manchester United in 1998, Yorke was a key player in his first season, guiding the club to a unique treble of the Premiership title, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Yorke finished the season as the top league goalscorer with 18 goals and he won the Premier League Player of the Season. Yorke was also a regular member of United's 1999–2000 title winning team, contributing 22 goals in all competitions.
Yorke was capped 72 official times for the Trinidad and Tobago national team, scoring 26 goals, but has played over 100 matches for Trinidad and Tobago were not recognised as international friendlies. He was a member of the 1989 'Strike Squad', the national team which narrowly failed to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He returned to the team for the 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign, in which Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time in their history.
Yorke was captain for all of Trinidad and Tobago's games at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and was Man of the Match in the 0–0 draw against Sweden.