Fears that the Brazilian government would repatriate over 190 Ghanaian football supporters, who reportedly applied for asylum after the recent FIFA World Cup, have been allayed after the Brazilian Embassy in Ghana said the fans stay in the south American country remained legitimate.
Media reported last month that 193 Ghanaian soccer fans had sought asylum in Brazil compelling the Ghanaian government to ask their Brazilian counterparts to deport the fans as soon as their visas expired.
But the Brazilian Embassy in Ghana wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration,explaining that the Special Temporary Tourist entry visas issued to Ghanaian soccer fans for the World Cup permitted them to stay in the country for up to 90 days even the competition ended.
“The deadline for the use of the visas was July 13,2014; day of the final match. Those who traveled to Brazil up to that date are allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days(unexpectedly), even when the competition has come to a conclusion.
“However, those who did not travel by that date are no longer able to enter Brazil with Special Temporary Visas, as these are now null and void”.
The statement also entreated the ministry to circulate the information among immigration authorities and others involved in travel and border control in order to avoid misunderstandings and inconveniences that may come to Ghanaian travelers from the misuse of said visas.
As per the contents of the statement, the fans are now left with 37 days to remain legally in Brazil after which they will be considered as illegal immigrants.
However, Brazilian legislation allows potential refugees to work legally in the country once they have filed for asylum.
The asylum-seeking fans argued that they were muslims fleeing inter-religious conflict in Ghana ,a claim which was subsequently denied by the government.