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US Move to clear entry for athletes as President Trump’s order against Muslim-majority nations draws more biting reaction

US Move to clear entry for athletes as President Trump’s order against Muslim-majority nations draws more biting reaction

President Donald Trump’s Executive OrderThe United States Government will work with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to ensure athletes and officials from all countries are granted “expedited access” to the nation following travel restrictions imposed by President Donald Trump’s Executive Order.

 

In a statement, the USOC added they hoped the ruling will “appropriately recognize the values on which our nation, as well as the Olympic Movement, were founded”.

 

The sporting world is still coming to terms with the potential consequences of Trump’s order, which prohibits citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from being granted entry to the US for a 90-day period.

 

The move also bans Syrian refugees indefinitely, while refugees from all nationalities worldwide will not be able to travel to the US for 120 days.

 

United States Olympic CommitteeIt is not yet completely clear how extensive the restrictions, currently only a 90-day temporary measure, will be.

 

The move had raised concerns as to whether athletes from countries on the list will be able to compete on US soil, while it also prompted fears within American sporting bodies as to whether they can participate in events in Iran.

 

Citizens from the seven countries have already been prevented from entering the US, while Iran banned Americans from entering the country in response to Trump’s action.

 

Meisam Rafiei has claimed he has been denied entry to the country for the US Open taekwondo event, which gets underway in Las Vegas today.

 

He said he had been turned away despite having an Icelandic passport.

 

Trump’s move was also criticized by Britain’s Somalian-born runner Sir Mo Farah, winner of the Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metres gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

 

Sir Mo was born in Somalian capital Mogadishu and grew up in neighbouring Djibouti before moving to Britain at the age of eight.

 

In 2011, he and his family moved to Portland in Oregon in order to train with US coach Alberto Salazar.

 

He is now a full British national and does not hold a Somalian passport.

 

Sir Mo had feared he would be unable to return home before the British Foreign Office clarified the 33-year-old and others in his position would only be affected if traveling to the US from one of the countries specifically targeted.

 

The British Foreign Office has since confirmed he will be allowed to return to the US.

 

In a statement issued following Trump signing the executive order, which has sparked protests across the US and worldwide, Sir Mo claimed the American President had made him an “alien”.

 

The executive order has also been criticized by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a key player in the city’s bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

 

A Federal Judge blocked part of the executive order relating to deportations on Saturday (January 28), but this is thought not to affect the initial restrictions.

 

The White House has also made clear that even those holding green residency cards will require additional screening before being allowed into the country

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