Seven Cape Town footballers have been refused travel documents by a Swedish immigration court because their unabridged birth certificates do not contain details of their biological parents.
- Seven teenage footballers from Camps Bay FC may miss a trip to Sweden after the Scandinavian country refused them visas.
- the Swedish Migration Court They were denied visas Their birth certificates do not have Details of their biological parents.
- The club appealed the rejection decision to the Immigration Court of Appeal and was again rejected.
Seven teenagers playing for Camps Bay FC could miss out on competing in Sweden’s upcoming Gothia Cup youth football tournament after the government refused them visas.
The Swedish Migration Court rejected the players’ travel documents because their unabridged birth certificates did not contain details of their biological parents.
The club then appealed the decision at the Migration Court of Appeal, but learned on Monday that the appeal had also been rejected.
Club president Gina Isero told News24 that the Swedish government required the consent of both parents to be granted travel documents, which harmed seven teens born to single mothers and their parentage.
Isiro said that after the immigration court’s decision, some mothers obtained an affidavit from their children’s fathers consenting to the trip.
Players are supposed to leave the country on Thursday for the tournament, which kicks off on Saturday and returns on July 24.
On 7 June, the club applied to the Western Cape High Court authorizing the teenagers’ trip to Sweden under the temporary guardianship of the club’s head coach, Anees Abbas, based.
The court order included a teenager whose father was a foreign national who had fled and could not be traced.
The court ruled that mothers have full parental rights and responsibilities to consent to their children’s travel.
Minors will be given permission to travel to Sweden on 13 July and return to the Republic of South Africa on 24 July to participate in the Gothia Cup football tournament in Gothenburg. Children’s biological mothers have parental rights and responsibilities to obtain all travel documents, including visas, and must include their consent for their minor children to travel to Gothenburg, Sweden.
An appeal letter from the lawyers representing the teens addressed to the Swedish Embassy and the Migration Court states that, for children born out of wedlock, it is not necessary for both parents to appear on the child’s birth certificate.
In terms of the best interests of the children, she said, the Supreme Court had superseded the authority of the biological parent as the supreme guardian of all minors.
Isero said the teenagers play in the under-13, under-14 and under-16 teams.
It was a pity, she said, that the seven might miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent South Africa abroad.
“It’s heartbreaking because none of these boys have ever been abroad, let alone represented South Africa abroad. We don’t know what to say to these kids. They trained for 18 months. They worked hard and we raised money. It’s not a question of financing but of visas, even though there is an order from the Supreme Court.”
Fiona Hart, a member of the Camp Bay FC executive committee, told News24 that this was not the first time the Swedish government had refused players’ visas.
She said the club had exhausted all avenues of assistance without success and that they would seek a permanent solution after this year’s tournament.
This happened last year as well, and we need to address this because this is a championship [the players] At the invitation of Sweden. They need to find a way to not make it discriminatory for single moms. We had to go to the Supreme Court and they still wouldn’t accept it. We lost all flights and money [spent in preparation to get the players to Sweden]but it also applies to children.
Immigration lawyer Gary Eisenberg said the visa denial may reflect the Swedish government’s mistrust of the South African judiciary.
“How do you punish a child with a parent? Perhaps one parent ran away and left the other to deal with the child, which is common in many countries. Their refusal of a visa may reflect a vociferous view of the Swedish government in South African High Court requests.”
Nomboso Machango, the mother of one of the teenagers, said she had flown to Johannesburg from Cape Town to settle a consent issue with the father of her child, who consented through an affidavit.
Machango said she hopes the situation will change in favor of the teens, since her son “eats and breathes football”.
“These boys are training and it would be disappointing if the others didn’t go. I’ve been praying and I don’t know what it is, but I didn’t tell him/news24/you I’m not going,” she said.