Campaigning against deportation

Al Bangura, the Watford footballer set to be deported back to Sierra Leone, has received unprecedented support from football fans of all clubs in recent days. Bangura fled the civil war in his country and arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied minor four years ago; he is now a well-paid professional with a family in the UK. The campaign to persuade the Home Secretary to overturn the decision is being led by Watford fans but also has support from professional bodies.

The public support is reminiscent of many smaller local campaigns for individuals in a similar position around the UK. But is the high-profile nature of this case a good thing for justice and fairness? There would seem a compelling case for Bangura to stay, but many others may have similarly compelling cases but dissimilar public profile and support. Yet, while Bangura’s public profile may have generated greater support, the publicity of the case may make it difficult for the Home Office to overturn as it would provide a clear precedent for other similar cases.


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