Straw to rule on planned Tyson fight in Scotland

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The Independent Online

The Home Secretary will rule this week on whether the boxer Mike Tyson should be allowed into Britain for a fight in Scotland next month.

Jack Straw is under pressure from Scottish parliamentarians who yesterday lodged two motions, one from Labour and one from an SNP member, criticising the move.

Tyson, who has a rape conviction dating from 1992, has applied for permission to be allowed to come to Scotland to fight Lou Savarese. The national football stadium, Hampden, and Celtic's Parkhead football ground are said to be vying to stage the fight. The company involved, Sports Network, expects a decision this week.

The Labour MSP Hugh Henry, whose critical motion is being backed by four other Labour MSPs, said: "I would urge the Scottish Football Association not to allow a facility supported by public money to be used for the promotion of a man with such a dubious character and criminal record of violence against women.

"I would also urge Celtic football club, which has always declared its commitment to social justice, not to allow its facilities to be used for the promotion of such an individual."

Tyson was given special dispensation in January by Mr Straw to be allowed into the UK to fight Julius Francis in Manchester. Mr Henry, MSP for Paisley South, said: "I understand that immigration laws in this country ban foreign nationals who have criminal convictions of more than a year from entering the country. Mike Tyson clearly falls into that category."

His motion calls on the SFA and Celtic to say their facilities will not be available for the event.

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