Sir Mo Farah says he is ‘relieved’ the Home Office has no intention of taking action against him, after making the shocking revelation that he was illegally brought to the UK when he was a child.
The four-time Olympic champion, 39, said there were a lot of people he ‘owed his life’ to and that gave him the ‘strength’ to talk about his past.
Sir Mo has revealed in a BBC documentary called The Real Mo Farah how he was illegally brought to Britain from Somalia, after taking another child’s name, after his father was killed in the war civil.
He was later helped to obtain British citizenship by his physical education teacher Alan Watkinson, while still using the name Mohamed Farah.
The UK Home Office has the power to legally strip individuals of their UK citizenship if it is found to have been obtained illegally.
But the department has since said it will take no action “whatever” against the athlete.
A Number 10 spokesperson said of the Olympic champion: “He is a sporting hero, he is an inspiration to people across the country.
“It is a shocking reminder of the horrors people face when they are trafficked. And we must continue to crack down on these criminals who take advantage of the vulnerable. »
Asked if the Home Office would take action against Sir Mo, he replied: “Absolutely not.
“I think the Home Office has been very clear that no action will be taken against Sir Mo and that is within guidelines.”
Asked in a BBC interview what he thought of the government’s response, Sir Mo said: ‘I feel relieved.
“It’s my country, if it wasn’t for Alan (Watkinson) and the people who supported me throughout my childhood, I might not even have the courage to do it.
“There are a lot of people who have been very supportive of me, especially my wife, throughout my career and gave me the strength to come and talk about it and tell me it was good to do it.”
It comes after the Metropolitan Police said they were “assessing” Sir Mo’s claims that he was trafficked to the UK as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant.
The Met Police said in a statement: ‘We are aware of reports in the media relating to Sir Mo Farah.
“No reports have been made to the MPS (the Metropolitan Police Service) at this time.
“Specialized officers are currently evaluating the available information.”
Senior politicians have hailed Sir Mo as ‘truly inspirational’ and a ‘great Brit’ after revealing he was trafficked to the UK as a child.
Conservative leadership hopeful Nadhim Zahawi praised Sir Mo as a “truly inspirational” role model after the revelations and reflected on his own experiences of “fleeing” Iraq as a child. Likewise, London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted his support for the Olympian.
“Everything Sir Mo has survived proves he is not just one of our greatest Olympians, but a very great Briton,” he said.
Following the shock announcement, Sir Mo said he was “really proud” of the documentary, which allowed him to “discuss and find out more” about his past and his trip to Britain.
The Real Mo Farah will air at 6am on BBC iPlayer and 9pm on BBC One on July 13.