Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke said he was ‘treated like a criminal’ when he was refused entry to the US last week.
Yorke, 45, was travelling to the Caribbean when he was barred from boarding a connecting flight via Miami on Friday because he once played a match in Iran.
In 2015, he played at a charity match in Tehran, representing the ‘World Stars’ against ‘Iranian Starts’.
But he said he was ‘treated like a criminal’ after border control noticed the Iranian stamp on his passport.
‘I have lost count of the number of times I have been to America, I love the country, yet I was being made to feel like a criminal,’ he told The Sun.
Yorke, who was travelling from Qatar where he works as a football commentator, said he had bought his ticket and checked in when he was pulled aside by two officials.
He said: ‘They told me there was a visa problem and a red flag had come up against my name because of an Iranian stamp in my passport.
‘The two officials told me if I got on the flight I would simply be deported back to Qatar once I arrived in the States.
‘I tried to explain I didn’t even live in Qatar and was just trying to get to my home in the Caribbean.’
Last month US President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily barring those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entering the country even if they had a valid visa.
The ban has been suspended by a federal court, however Trump said he will replace it with another policy soon.
Dwight Yorke is believed to have been affected by a regulation put in place by the Obama administration which said people who had visited Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen or Sudan could be required to get a visa from a US embassy before entering the country..
However, the footballer said he had not experienced problems before this week.
He has a British passport as well as a diplomatic passport as a global ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago.