Gary Lineker Slams “Awful” Decision To Deport Zimbabwean Footballer
4 August 2021
English former footballer and current sports broadcaster Gary Lineker has described as "awful" the decision by the UK government to deport a promising Zimbabwean footballer who has lived in Britain his whole life.
Christopher Arundell (26) is set to be deported to Zimbabwe, despite a cross-party appeal to the home secretary to stop his removal.
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In a Twitter post, Lineker (60), who played for Everton and Barcelona among other clubs, implored home secretary Priti Patel to reconsider the decision. Said Lineker:
Come on, let’s do the right thing here. We can’t do this, it’s awful. @pritipatel.
Arundell grew up in the United Kingdom having left Zimbabwe at the age of 5 and once dreamt of playing professional football.
Arundell’s family have become British citizens, including his two younger siblings.
He said his father kept putting off paying the money to sort out his citizenship so he dropped out of the football academy that had accepted him after leaving school.
Arundell ended up getting into trouble and going to prison for drug offences.
He is of mixed heritage: his mother is half Indian and his father grew up as an orphan in Zimbabwe.
Chris speaks English, but neither of Zimbabwe’s two main local languages, Shona or Ndebele.