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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Kit Vickery

Mo Farah 'relieved' at Home Office decision after revealing he was trafficked into UK

Sir Mo Farah says he is "relieved" the Home Office has no plans to take action against him after he revealed that he was illegally smuggled into the UK as a child.

On Monday, July 11, the 39-year-old four-time Olympic champion told the world that he had been brought to Britain from Somalia illegally, assuming the name of another child, after his father was killed in the civil war. According to the BBC, Farah was born as Hussein Abdi Kahin, but was given the name Mohamed Farah by the people who brought him into the UK.

Farah said there were a number of people he "owed my life to" who had given him the strength to talk about his past. His school PE teacher, Alan Watkinson, later helped him obtain UK citizenship when the then-teenage Farah revealed he had been smuggled into the country.

READ MORE : Boy, 15, allegedly killed by 'mum's ex-partner', inquest hears

The Home Office has the power to legally strip people of their British citizenship if it is found to have been obtained illegally, but the department said it would be taking no action "whatsoever" against the athlete.

A Number 10 spokesman said of the Olympic champion: “He is a sporting hero, he is an inspiration to people across the country. It is a shocking reminder of the horrors that people face when they are trafficked. And we must continue to clamp down on these criminals who take advantage of vulnerable people.”

Asked if the Home Office would be taking any action against Farah, he said: “Absolutely not. I think the Home Office has been very clear that no action whatsoever will be taken against Sir Mo and that is in line with the guidance.”

During a BBC interview, Farah said “I feel relieved. This is my country, if it wasn’t for Alan [Watkinson] and the people that supported me throughout my childhood then maybe I wouldn’t even have the courage to be doing this. There’s a lot of people that have been very supportive, particularly my wife, throughout my career and gave me the strength to come and talk about it and telling me it’s ok to do this.”

The latest update comes after the Metropolitan Police said it was “assessing” Farah’s allegations he was trafficked into the UK as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant. The force said: “We are aware of reports in the media concerning Sir Mo Farah. No reports have been made to the MPS (the Metropolitan Police Service) at this time. Specialist officers are currently assessing the available information.”

Figures from the world of politics have praised Farah as “truly inspirational” and a “great Briton” after he revealed he was trafficked into the UK as a child. Following the shock announcement, Farah said he is “really proud” of the documentary he's made, The Real Mo Farah, which enabled him to “address and learn more” about his past and his journey to Britain.

The documentary aired at 6am on BBC iPlayer and will be shown on BBC One at 9pm tonight, July 13.

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