Sir Mo Farah has lambasted United States president Donald Trump over his immigration crackdown, admitting he fears he could be separated from his family.
Trump’s decision to ban travellers from seven majority-Muslim nations entering the US was met with widespread anger and condemnation.
British Olympic champion Farah said he was relieved he would be able to rejoin his family in the United States after the British government said late on Sunday the new US travel restrictions did not apply to UK nationals born, like Farah, in one of the countries listed.)
Farah, who was born in Somalia but moved to Britain as a child, said earlier on Sunday he was worried he would be unable to return to his home and family in the United States. He is currently training in Ethiopia.
“We understand from the statement released this evening by the Foreign and Commonwealth office that the executive order will not apply to Mo and we are grateful to the FCO for urgently clarifying the situation,” a representative for Farah told the BBC. “Mo is relieved that he will be able to return to his family once his current training camp concludes.”
The representative added that Farah still “fundamentally disagrees with this incredibly divisive and discriminatory policy.”
The 33-year-old trains in Portland, Oregon under long-distance super coach Alberto Salazar.
“On 1st January 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,” Farah wrote on Facebook.
“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.”
Nationals and dual-nationals of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen are banned from entering the US for a period of 90 days.
Farah is Britain’s most successful track athlete, winning gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the London Olympics in 2012 and repeating the feat in 2016 in Rio, as well as at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015.
He is a British citizen, but his birthplace of Somalia is one of the seven countries subject to Trump’s immigration restrictions.