Detained at the Tinsley House Immigration Centre at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex on November 29, 29-year-old Bilal Fawaz , who represented the UK 6 times in boxing, currently ranked the 3rd best middleweight in England, and was the 2012 ABA light-middleweight champion, currently faces deportation to Nigeria where his parents emigrated when he was just 14.
Fawaz who is now married to an English woman, was brought to the UK illegally by an uncle, who told him his father would be arriving soon, but the man never turned up.
The boxer who now calls himself Kelvin, was treated ‘like a slave’, joined bad gangs, got shot once and stabbed 25 times, before he ran away from the home he was living in and was taken into care home where he became a boxer.
Daily Mail reports that Fawaz says his mother is dead and he has no idea where his father is. He also says he’s stateless, as his parents were Lebanese immigrants to Nigeria, and did not have Nigerian citizenship themselves.
“I am a national champion — in 2014 I even boxed for England against Nigeria, the country they want to deport me to. I have no other family to go back to, I don’t know anyone in Nigeria or anything about it – all I know is here.”
Imagine how it feels to represent a country and then to have that country turn around and put you in what feels like a prison.
It was gathered that Labour MP McDonnell and England Boxing have appealed to the authorities on the boxer’s behalf, but without success. The Home Office rejected his application to remain in the UK, and declared his marriage to a British citizen void.