Yorke did NOT run afoul of Trump travel ban; T&T W/Cup captain supposedly had visa issue

Former Manchester United star and Trinidad and Tobago World Cup 2006 captain Dwight Yorke was not turned back from Florida nor was he denied access to the United States due to President Donald Trump’s controversial “travel ban”, which was already stayed by the US courts.

Instead, according to Trinidad and Tobago Government sources, Yorke was allegedly denied the opportunity to fly through Miami—in transit—due to a visa issue. The US Embassy subsequently released a statement.

Photo: Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (centre) and goalkeeper Raymond van der Gouw prepare for action on day one of the BA Tobago Legends Football Tournament in June 2015. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Manchester United star Dwight Yorke (centre) and goalkeeper Raymond van der Gouw prepare for action on day one of the BA Tobago Legends Football Tournament in June 2015.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The 45 year old Yorke, who is his country’s most celebrated footballer, was attempting to leave Qatar for Trinidad via Miami. He never dealt with US Immigration directly at all and, according to sources, was not allowed to board a flight to Miami since he “did not have the appropriate visa.”

Yorke told the UK Sun newspaper that he felt “like a criminal.”

“I couldn’t quite believe what was happening,” Yorke told the Sun. “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.

KFC Munch Pack

“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.”

Yorke subsequently re-booked his flight to Trinidad using another transit point.

Yorke’s travel woes became international news after his media colleague and former Sky Sports presenter, Richard Keys, tweeted: “Well done @realDonaldTrump. Man U ambassador Dwight Yorke denied transit access to Miami cause he has Iranian stamp in passport. #crazy.”

Photo: United States president Donald Trump. (Copyright Gawker)
Photo: United States president Donald Trump.
(Copyright Gawker)

However, there is no evidence to suggest that Yorke’s problems were related to Trump’s controversial and short-lived travel suspension.

Keys and Yorke both work for beIN Sports. Yorke, according to Britain’s Mirror newspaper, played in a charity match in Tehran, two years ago, alongside former Brazil World Cup winner Roberto Carlos and Portugal legend Luis Figo. Money from that exhibition game, which featured members of the Iranian national team, was donated to sufferers of multiple sclerosis.

On 27 January 2017, Trump signed an executive order that placed a 90-day visa suspension on travellers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The order exempted certain visa categories from the ban as well as person’s fleeing “religious persecution” from the predominantly Muslim nations.

Trump’s executive order was subsequently thrown out by the US courts, although he has vowed to craft a new one by next week.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE for the US Embassy statement.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  2. As usual fake news smh. Tx u Mr. Lasana. These days u have to use discernment before running with what is posted

  3. I didn’t read all the comments below, but just to clear up the confusion his denial has nothing to do with the recent travel ban. Providing Yorke is the holder of a Passport under the Visa Waiver Program he can enter the US without a US visa. However, after March 1, 2011, an ammendment was made requiring that anyone visiting Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen are barred from entering the US if their passport is one of those listed under the Visa Waiver Program. To this end, they would be required to be the holder of a US visitor Visa (B1/2) if they were to enter the US.

    Yorke was just ignorant to the fact. It’s funny how people are quick to make themselves a victim.


  4. You live and you learn. I guess he was using his British passport then.

  5. The main thrust of the article aside, it’s important to note that the travel ban has neither been “overturned’ or “thrown out.”

    • If there is a ‘stay’ doesn’t that mean it’s not to be implemented?

    • Yes, but that’s a far cry from being “thrown out” or “overturned.” Judge Robart granted the stay until he could rule on the substantive issues raised by the Order. Once he issued the stay the Trump administration appealed the ‘stay’ itself. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal, leaving the stay in place. The ball is now back in Judge Robart’s court (literally) for him to continue addressing the Constitutionality of the Executive Order.

  6. This article left me confused a bit. Either way his denial was as a result of the travel ban policy, whether directly or indirectly

  7. Makes no sense. If he was getting a connector what visa do you get?

  8. Thanks for clearing this up as it made no sense from the beginning.

  9. Just like in Trini always blaming Rowley for kamla mistakes

  10. But If Dwight York has a British Passport, he does not need a visa for the US

  11. But that isn’t new news Nerisha

    • Here’s the problem with that Alina. He never saw or dealt with US Immigration. It was Qatari airport officials who advised him not to get on plane because they felt he would be turned back.
      There is no travel ban. Yorke himself said there was a visa problem they pointed to.
      So it was either simply a visa issue or a case of the Qatari officials being overly exuberant or cautious. But it is not down to travel ban, was not the work of US Immigration and isn’t directly to do with Trump although his policies might have put everyone on edge.

    • Lasana Liburd as far as I know the travel ban was removed, but why the ‘red flag’? The article was also unclear.

    • Very unclear. Because Yorke said he had already checked in and he shouldn’t have been able to do that if there was a visa problem.
      It might very well be that the Qatari officials erred.

  12. What is “a visa issue “. The information is vague.

    • In 2016 changes to the Visa Waiver Program were made. Citizens from the countries that qualify for the waiver program would have to obtain a visa to enter the US if they travelled to a particular set of countries within the last 5 years. Iran was one of the countries listed. So if Yorke travelled to Iran recently then that was probably the reason for the visa issue.

    • More egg on face in this incident, because this sends a bad signal for business, trade, sports, diplomacy. Hope the British also step in since he has a British passport. The sad thing is, this is one of many stories of innocent ppl caught up in such a ban that may end up stretching resources thin. Hope it really does help weed out bad apples. And what I cannot understand, if the ban was overturned in Court, why he was not allowed to travel because the story only points to that travel as the hindrance.

    • Nerisha, he was not stopped by US Immigration officials. The story just takes one and one and gets four.

    • Ihu. But, for e.g., in Tnt, when you are departing for the U.S., if your travel documents are not in order-valid visa, passport etc, the staff of the airline has a responsibility not to allow you to travel, as the airline faces a fine. If they were going on advice-not policy-that persons from banned countries would not be able to enter…We need to get the full, official story because it seems nobody has been able to yet.

  13. All we know is there is a visa issue. From what I understand, Yorke didn’t have the appropriate visa. And he doesn’t seem to be clear himself. And he ought to be.

  14. Big footballer like York don’t know he have to get visa to fly through America who the f..k is his agent …

  15. See this is why the media deserves some of the bashing it gets.

  16. Lasana SportsMax is still reporting that it’s because of the Iranian stamp

  17. still something doesnt make sense ….he has British passport so there should b no visa issues

  18. Sheeeeeeeeit! I’m going back to getting my news the old fashioned way. From Tanty Merle and the “Gyah-zette”

  19. You all are so ready to pick up Bad News. Tell dem York whey you living they have a long drive way and you work hard for your money. Let then leave you alone. Travel my brother and do your job. Leave small island pride alone.

  20. See why I does wait for the dust to settle before I believe ANYTHING these days?? Can some one please tell me where they got the info that he was denied entry because of an Iranian visa in his passport or some stupidness like that??

    Additionally they made it seem as if he was turned away at US Customs?? Steups. Nothing to see here.

  21. Are we ever going to know what happened?

    Yorke has a British passport since 1999 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1999/05/99/uniteds_euro_showdown/346253.stm) and the UK is eligible for the ESTA (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/) visa waiver program that has been in effect since 2009 (http://www.esta.us/visa_waiver_countries.html).

    I would be surprise if Yorke has not flown into the USA since that time and had to apply for the program via online. We may never know but all the horror stories being reported by US Immigration Officers going rogue even though the travel ban is suspended as it’s before US Court System warrants our suspicion.

  22. Uncle Jack say he have something very important and if you can carry it in your luggage please .What time can he dropit off ? LOL !!

  23. But I don’t understand…how could there be a VISA issue? Doesn’t Yorke have a British Passport?

  24. Trinidad Express headline: “Claims that Dwight Yorke ‘DENIED” access to US… turned away in Florida”
    Opening paragraph: “DWIGHT YORKE was denied entry into United States on Friday due to the travel ban imposed by US President Donald Trump.”
    All based on a tweet from a football commentator… Well yes. Like Earl Mango Pierre would say: Them really good yes!

  25. A Republican buddy posted this on my page in response to my rant. It may very well be the issue… then again we don’t know when Dwight went to Iran but if it was after 2011 this could be the issue.

  26. Might well be Brent. But the US has made some visa changes even before Trump executive order.
    I went for my usual tourist visa and got a journalist visa instead. Not sure how that might affect my travel according to why I am heading there.
    They might be stricter on certain things now.

  27. Thank you Lasana. I knew the initial story sounded incomplete

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