Athletics

Trump ban makes Mo Farah an 'alien'

Mo Farah is unsure of his status after US president Donald Trump's order banning all Somali citizens from the States  
PA reporters

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MO FARAH says US president Donald Trump's travel ban "seems to have made me an alien".

Farah and his family have been based in the United States for the last six years and his family are there currently, while he trains in Ethiopia. An executive order issued by president Trump banning individuals born in certain countries from entering the States has cast doubt over whether Farah - a British citizen who was born in Somalia - will be able to rejoin his family at the end of the training camp.

The 33-year-old athlete was knighted by the queen of England in her new year honours list for his achievements on the track, which include winning the 5,000 metres and 10,000m double at the 2012 and '16 Olympic Games. Farah is understood to be trying to establish what effect the ban will have on him as a matter of urgency.

He said in a statement on Sunday: "On January 1 this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.

"I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years - working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home. Now, me and many others like me are being told that we may not be welcome.

"It's deeply troubling that I will have to tell my children that Daddy might not be able to come home - to explain why the President has introduced a policy that comes from a place of ignorance and prejudice.

"I was welcomed into Britain from Somalia at eight years old and given the chance to succeed and realise my dreams. I have been proud to represent my country, win medals for the British people and receive the greatest honour of a knighthood. My story is an example of what can happen when you follow policies of compassion and understanding, not hate and isolation."

Citizens from seven mainly Muslim countries - Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - have been barred temporarily from the US, along with all refugees.

Farah and his family have been based in Portland, Oregon, the location of his main training base. Farah does not have dual nationality or hold a Somalian passport, but he and his representatives are trying to establish whether the fact he was born in Somalia will now present a problem for him when he wishes to return to the US.

After moving to the UK from Somalia, he lived in west London and his athletic prowess was first spotted by a PE teacher. As well as his Olympic success, Farah won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at the World Championships in 2011 and '15.

Downing Street released a statement on Sunday saying British prime minister Theresa May "did not agree" with president Trump's approach while foreign secretary Boris Johnson described the travel ban as "divisive and wrong".

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