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Mehdi Mirzai

Mehdi Mirzae is a national of Afghanistan and long time resident of Manchester. He was detained by the UK Border Agency on 8th November 2010 and remains detained as the Home Office seek to deport him back to Afghanistan.

So what has this to do with FC United?

Asylum and deportation are emotive terms and a subject that isn’t necessarily the club’s natural territory. But Mehdi’s case deserves further attention.

Since arriving in the UK in 2003, Mehdi has established himself as part of the local community in Manchester. He has tirelessly worked to increase the opportunities for young people to get involved in sport, particularly football. He set up a local football team called Omid FC and also finds the time to volunteer with the Manchester Hazara Community Organisation as a sports co-ordinator.

Mehdi is the driving force behind the Omid FC. He has supported them to enter tournaments and they have travelled across the country playing football with other teams in different cities. Mehdi organised a tournament himself for other grassroots teams in Manchester and he has been recognised by local football teams and community organisations for his commitment and dedication and promotion of the game as a force for community cohesion and social inclusion for young people.

Mehdi and Omid FC work very closely with FC United in our community delivery and those involved in that area of our work cannot speak highly enough of Mehdi’s commitment, honesty, drive and desire to make a difference in the same communities in which we have same ambition.

Mehdi is fearful for his life if he is deported back to Afghanistan. This is what his campaigners have stated:

“Mehdi fled Afhganistan after his family were murdered due to his father’s involvement in an anti-government group. Mehdi was detained by the authorities in Afghanistan and tortured but his uncle helped him escape and he fled to the UK.”

“The UK Border Agency refuse to believe that Mehdi’s life is under threat if he returns to Afghanistan. However, Mehdi’s uncle informed him that the authorities have been searching for him since he fled the country in 2003 and believes his life would be in danger and he would be tortured again if he returned. Mehdi therefore fears for his life if he is returned to Afghanistan and is increasingly distressed and distraught by his imminent removal to Kabul.”

More details can be found here: http://www.intermancunia.co.uk/mehdi-must-stay-blog.html

FC United has already submitted a reference on behalf of Mehdi, detailing everything we know him to be. We now feel it important to make a more public appeal, with time being of the essence.

Mehdi’s campaigners at Inter Mancunia FC need a fighting fund to help pay his legal costs. It would be a tremendous effort if FC United supporters could donate £10 each to the fund. If £10 is too much, please donate whatever you can afford. You can donate at the links above and below.

Secondly, supporters are asked to write to their MP and/or the Home Secretary highlighting Mehdi’s case. There is a standard letter on the Inter Mancunia FC site here: http://www.intermancunia.co.uk/mehdi-must-stay-blog.html

Mehdi’s supporters will also be at the game against Bradford on Saturday. Please give them the support that they and Mehdi deserve.

Through hard work, dedication and a commitment to our communities, FC United is in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. Mehdi Mirzai shares those values and has shown as much in his work with us. We would like to return the favour.

We will keep supporters abreast of developments.

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First Posted ~ 15:37 Fri 7 Jan 2011
News ID ~ 3335
Last Updated ~ 15:37 Fri 7 Jan 2011