Joseph Jones and J.P. Prince, two U.S. basketball players on the Azad University Tehan team in the Iran Super League, may not be able to return to Iran because of the country’s retaliation efforts over President Trump’s travel ban, the AP reports.
Their agent Eric Fleisher told the outlet the men’s visas expired sometime during the season and have not yet been renewed. Fleisher said it’s the club’s responsibility to arrange visas for players.
“In this case for reasons which I don’t quite understand they did not do it for the full season and as a result it expires during the season, which has put them into the crosshairs that they’re presently in,” Fleisher said. According to the AP, the team is working to rectify the situation.
Prince and Jones were sent to Dubai as a reward for playing well, Fleisher told ESPN on Monday. The athletes were unfortunately caught in the crosshairs of Donald Trump’s Friday executive order, which temporarily bars entry for citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries. In response, Iran vowed to limit visas for U.S. citizens.
“If not, they won’t be allowed to enter back into Iran. Their things are still in Iran,” Fleisher said. “They won’t be able to continue for the remainder of the season with the club. If they can renew their visa, then presumably they’ll be allowed to re-enter and everything will be OK, but I don’t have an answer as of yet.”
Prince played at the University of Tennessee from 2007 to 2010. Jones played for Texas A&M University from 2004 to 2008, ESPN reports.