Craig Brough / Reuters
London – Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke said he was “made to feel like a criminal” after being denied entry to the United States.
The 45-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago said he was prevented from entering the U.S. on Friday due to having played in a charity match in the Iranian capital Tehran in 2015.
He was travelling from Doha in Qatar, where he had been working for broadcaster beIN Sports, and intended to return to his home in the Caribbean via Miami.
“I couldn’t quite believe what was happening,” Yorke told Saturday’s edition of British newspaper 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.
“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.”
Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entering the country.
Yorke won three Premier League titles, the Champions League and the FA Cup with United and also played in England for Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City and Sunderland.