An amateur cricket club which, last year, welcomed a young asylum seeker from Afghanistan. He was keen to get involved in the sport and make new friends. None of its players are paid or funded in any way. He has a Home Office registration card and has not left the UK since his arrival in January 2017. He previously played cricket in Afghanistan for the national team at junior levels and attended the national men’s training camp, although he never played for the full team. They have now been informed that he is not allowed to play for our club in any capacity because he is considered a “professional” and any paid or unpaid cricket would be deemed “employment” and in breach of Home Office conditions.
This aspiring cricketer hoping to integrate an assimilate in local culture and customs appears to have fallen foul of updated Home Office guidance announced last year.
The rules prohibit overseas sports people, without a work permit, from playing professional sport, but, last year, the definition of “professional” was broadened to include anyone who previously earned a living from playing a sport or intends to do so.