Sending Great home ‘a disgrace’

FORMER Irish soccer manager Brian Kerr has accused the Government of being unchristian for deporting autistic Nigerian schoolboy Great Agbonlahor.

Kerr, a board member of Sport Against Racism Ireland, said he believed there was more racism here now than ever and he was alarmed by the message sent out by decisions such as the Agbonlahor deportation.

He was speaking at the launch of the SARI multicultural soccerfest tournament yesterday when he raised the example of the six-year-old who was ordered out of the country with his twin sister and their mother despite the lack of education or treatment centres for autistic children in Nigeria.

“I have no doubt that we live in a more racist society now than ever before and we, in sport and in society, have to deal with that. It is a responsibility for the three major sporting bodies to address,” he said.

“When I look at the Government’s decision to expel the Nigerian woman Olivia Agbonlahor who had an autistic son, I get worried. To me that was a disgraceful decision and lacked any type of decency or Christianity. I know you need rules and regulations but you also need some compassion.”

A total of 48 soccer teams will gather in Phoenix Park in Dublin next Saturday and Sunday for SARI’s 11th annual inter-cultural seven-a-side soccer tournament, including squads from Brazil, Poland, Ireland, Britain, Italy, Somalia, China, Romania, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mongolia.

Throughout both days family entertainment will be provided.

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