Connect with us


Kelvin Bilal Fawaz: The Boxer with No Country of Descent to Call Home Faces Deportation to ‘Foreign’ Nigeria

After devoting time and sweat to fight for a country he calls home, Kelvin Bilal Fawaz is facing deportation to Nigeria – a country he has no family to go back to – from England despite representing the latter country six times.

Fawaz said, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I’m allowed to box for England but I’m not allowed to stay in England. I’ve spent over half of my life here; I went to school here, I lived here, I’ve boxed for England 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.”[/perfectpullquote]

Brought to the UK illegally by an Uncle when he was 14, Fawaz was made a domestic slave, being forced to cook and clean for a family and never leave the house. He ran away at the age of 15 and was put into care by social services.

In 2011, he took up boxing at the Stonebridge Boxing Club in Brent and has since risen through the ranks to become one of Britain’s top amateur boxers. He currently is ranked the third best middleweight in England and has won many accolades such as the prestigious England Boxing Amateur Elite Title.

The constant rejections to his applications for home residency by the home office have come at a very heavy cost – his wife left in 2014 because his lack of a work permit meant he could not support her. His progress from amateur boxing to a professional level is also on halt because of the same situation.

“I haven’t been allowed to work or claim benefits. I am a national champion. I have got three championship belts in three different weight classes. I was ranked number four in the country. That’s the Amateur Boxing Association.

“I was in Team GB. But I couldn’t go further because I didn’t have any travel documents. I was chosen for the Olympics in 2012 and again in 2016, but I wasn’t able to go both times,” he added.

The 29-year-old boxer also admits he is technically ‘stateless’ as his parents were Lebanese immigrants to Nigeria, and they themselves didn’t have Nigerian citizenship. His mother is deceased and says he had ‘no idea’ where his father is.

“They tried to deport me, but they have nowhere to deport me because I have no country of origin. I am stateless. The Nigerian Embassy doesn’t recognize me.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I have no other family to go back to, I don’t know anyone in Nigeria or anything about it – all I know is here. 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,”[/perfectpullquote]

he lamented.

The Labor MP for Hayes and Harlington, John McDonnell and England Boxing’s efforts to appeal to the authorities on the boxer’s behalf have fallen on deaf ears which have prompted a petition to stop Fawaz’s deportation. The petition has already garnered nearly 4,000 of the needed 5,000 signatures.




Featured Photo: Bilal Fawaz

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Boxing

Translate »