Sir Mo Farah reveals he was smuggled to the UK at the age of nine under the name of another child | Athletics News


Sir Mo Farah has revealed how he was illegally smuggled into the UK under the name of another child

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Sir Mo Farah has revealed how he was illegally smuggled into the UK under the name of another child

Sir Mo Farah has revealed how he was illegally smuggled into the UK under the name of another child

Sir Mo Farah has revealed he has been illegally “smuggled” into the UK under the name of another child, saying he wants to tell his real story “at any cost”.

The four-time Olympic champion told the BBC he was born Hussein Abdi Kahin, brought to the UK with a woman and her children under the name of another boy named Mohamed Farah.

Sir Mo said “the truth is I am not who you think I am” as he spoke of the traumatic events of his childhood after leaving war-torn Somaliland in West Africa.

He was warned by a lawyer that although he was smuggled into the country as a small child and told the authorities the truth, there is a “real risk” that his British nationality could be taken away.

However, it is clear that the Home Office will not take any action against Sir Mo.

Speaking about the documentary The real Mo Farahthe father of four, 39, said: “Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it’s not my name, or it’s not the reality.

“The real story is that I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I have said in the past, my parents have never lived in the UK.

“When I was four my father died in the civil war, you know we were torn apart as a family.

“I was separated from my mother and I was illegally brought into the UK under the name of another child named Mohamed Farah.”

Sir Mo, the first British athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, said his children have motivated him to be honest about his past.

Sir Mo’s wife Tania Nell said in the year leading up to their 2010 wedding that she realized “there were a lot of missing pieces to his story”, but in the end “dragged him off with the interrogation” and told the truth.

Sir Mo Farah has won four Olympic gold medals

Sir Mo Farah has won four Olympic gold medals

‘I knew I was in trouble’

During the documentary, Sir Mo said he thought he was going to Europe to live with relatives and recalled having to pass a British passport control under the guise of Mohamed at the age of nine.

He said: “I had all the contact details of my relative and once we got to her house the lady took it from me and right in front of me she tore them open and put it in the bin and in that moment I knew I was in the problems.”

Sir Mo said he had “no fond memories” of his childhood home in Hounslow, where he was told to work in the house if he wanted to eat.

“If I wanted food in my mouth, my job was to take care of those kids, shower them, cook for them, clean for them, and she said, ‘If you ever want to see your family again, then don’t say anything. if you say something, they’ll take you away’.”

Sir Mo eventually told his PE teacher Alan Watkinson the truth and moved in with his friend’s mother, Kinsi, who “took really good care of him” and he ended up staying for seven years.

It was Mr Watkinson who applied for Sir Mo’s UK citizenship, which he described as a “long process”, and on 25 July 2000 Sir Mo was recognized as a British citizen.

Sir Mo, who named his son Hussein after his real identity, said: “I often think about that other Mohamed Farah, the boy whose place I took on that plane, and I really hope he’s okay.

“Wherever he is, I bear his name, and that could cause problems for me and my family right now.”

‘You’re still my brother’

Coincidentally, the documentary ends with Sir Mo speaking to the real Mohamed Farah.

Sir Mo said on the phone: “I can’t believe I’m speaking to you. I bear your name and I’ve carried it with me for many, many years, and I’m proud that you know what I’ve accomplished.

“But as a person I always wonder where Mohamed is, is he okay, what would life have been like for him?

“I think about it all the time and personally I just wanted to check in with you to see how you’re doing.”

Mr Farah said he was not yet married and had no children, but had seen Sir Mo running on TV and like him was an Arsenal football fan.

Sir Mo added: “I just want to say one thing to you, thank you very much, I am using your name.

“I came here as a kid and I just want to thank you, and it was hard, hard.”

Mr. Farah said, “It’s okay, you’re still my brother.”

The Real Mo Farah will air on BBC iPlayer at 6am on 13th July and on BBC One at 9pm.

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