Columbus Crew player Justin Meran, also a member of the Iraq national team, won’t represent the country in upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches because of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
The player is concerned about his possible re-entry into the United States after matches with Australia and Saudi Arabia later this month.
The Iraq soccer federation posted a message on Facebook and on Twitter about Meram’s decision and his concern.
Trump’s ban, which suspended the refugee program and entry into the U.S. for people from six predominantly Muslim countries, originally included Iraq. The countries in the latest executive order from the president lists Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran.
With Iraq off the list, logic would lead one to believe that he shouldn’t have any trouble representing the country and coming back, but he isn’t even taking the chance.
Meram, 28, was born in Michigan but is of Iraqi heritage. He has represented the national team 22 times, scoring two goals.