Hope for BanguraBy: Matt | December 19th, 2007
As discussed previously, and quite unfortunately, the British Home Office had ordered Watford winger Al Bangura to return to his native Sierra Leone.
The case received much publicity in the UK and abroad, as it has been rare that a person of such profile as a Championship footballer was faced with deportation. Especially considering the fact that Bangura has an English wife, a newborn child, and is generally in good standing as a citizen, this was quite a shock to many.
The one thing I have seemed to miss in all of this (and excuse my ignorance if it has been reported), but exactly why has the Home Office ordered his deportation? Was it simply a case of a permit expiring? Surely then this could have been brought to Watford’s attention earlier that this could potentially happen, and they could have taken steps to renew the permit.
Watford supporters let it be known exactly how they felt on Saturday, December 15th when they held aloft placards of Bangura’s face with the words ‘He’s Family’ printed on them, during a half time protest.
All in all, it was a ludicrous decision on the part of the Home Office, and perhaps best framed by Hornets manager Aidy Boothroyd: “We thought we could put our faith in British justice but obviously not. We have to keep trying everything we can to make sure he stays”.
It seems that the common sense Boothroyd was looking for may prevail in due time. The H.O. has agreed to allow Bangura to remain in the UK while they review his case, which is a drastic improvement on last week, when a return to his stricken west-African nation seemed imminent. Let’s hope that all works out and he can continue on in the Coca Cola Championship, and more importantly, with his life as a father and husband in the UK.