Saturday, 9 December 2017

BOXED OUT? Boxing Champ Bilal Fawaz Who Represented England Six Times Locked In Immigration ‘Prison’ Pending Deportation To Nigeria

Bilal Fawaz is a professional boxer, representing the UK in the sport

A Nigerian born boxer faces being deported to Nigeria despite spending half his life in the UK.

Bilal Fawaz, a current middleweight champ, has spent the majority of his life in England and even boxed six times for the nation, but the Home Office is in the process of deporting him to Nigeria, where he has no family

The London’s middleweight boxing title champ Bilal Fawaz has been stuck in an immigration “prison” for a week, with the 29-year-old having had numerous applications for UK residency rejected.
Elite level boxer Bilal Fawaz (left), 29, of Hayes, who has fought for England six times is facing being deported to Nigeria after being told he has no leave to remain in the UK (pictured alongside Olympic silver medalist and former world boxing champion Amir Khan)

Speaking to GetWestLondon, the boxer, who is married to a British citizen, said: “I’ve spent over half of my life here. I went to school here, I lived here, I’ve boxed for England five or six times and never lost.
“I am a national champion – in 2014 I even boxed for England against Nigeria, the country they want to deport me to.”
The young man, who is also known as Kelvin, had been sent to the UK from Nigeria by his parents when he was just 14, but was made a domestic slave by an uncle when he arrived.
The teen then ran away from home, eventually finding his way into boxing.
The athlete said he had lived in the UK for half his life, but now faced being deported

He has since become a successful boxer, representing to the UK, also working with young people at the Stonebridge Boxing Club, who helped him as a youth.

Bilal said: “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.”

He claimed he was stateless, saying his application for Nigerian citizenship had also been rejected as there was no record of him being born there.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “When someone has no leave to remain in the UK, we expect them to leave the country voluntarily.

“Where they do not, we will seek to enforce their departure.”

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