We’re going to keep updating here as Samantha Gross of the Associated Press follows this developing story:
NEW YORK (AP) — An American Indian lacrosse team that refuses to accept U.S. passports will not be allowed entry into England for the world championship of the sport the Iroquois helped invent, the British government said Wednesday.
The Iroquois Nationals team won’t be attending the world championship in Manchester unless the British government reverses its decision, said Tonya Gonnella Frichner, a lawyer for the team.
“They’re telling us: ‘Go get U.S. passports or Canadian passports,’” Frichner said Wednesday shortly after getting the news. “It’s pretty devastating.”
The team’s 23 players — who are all eligible for passports issued by those nations — say that accepting them would be a strike against their identity.
In a statement, the U.K. Borders Agency said: “Like all those seeking entry into the U.K., they must present a document that we recognise as valid to enable us to complete our immigration and other checks.”
The British government’s decision was announced hours after the U.S. cleared the team for travel on a one-time waiver at the behest of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.