Sydney, Jan.18 (ANI): Outspoken Gold Coast United owner Clive Palmer on Monday slammed the Australian government's immigration policies as "racist" after a youngster from Ghana was denied a chance to trial with the A-League club.
Palmer claimed all professional soccer players from Ghana wishing to play for Australian clubs were required to obtain a letter from their country's Ministry of Youth and Sport providing permission to visit.
"Without the agreement of the Ghanaian government, Australian visas for these players are being refused," Palmer said in a statement.
"The Australian government issues visas, without the same requirements, to players coming from Europe and other white countries," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying further.
"This is a gross violation of the United Nations charter and the human rights of the players concerned when a non-democratic government is required to provide information about an individual and can veto the visa application of a soccer player to a free and democratic nation like Australia," he added.
"Everybody needs to know that if a football player from Ghana shows enough potential to become a professional elsewhere, then the Ghanaian government may not approve their visa application."
He compared the "artificial requirements" placed on the issuing of visas with those of the old White Australia policy.
"The behaviour of the Immigration Department in dealing with Ghanaian footballers is a national disgrace and the club is investigating the matter further so that the Australian government can be brought to account," he said. (ANI)