Date: 19th December 2007 at 2:44pm
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Ah some promising news to report at last (and then we`ll get back to the football we promise).

Following a crunch meeting with Home Office minister Liam Byrne, Watford FC have confirmed that the deportation order on Al Bangura`s head has been delayed whilst the club seek a work permit for the the dynamic midfielder.

A positive Claire Ward, leading Bangura`s appeal to stay in the UK told the official club site “We`ve won a concession from the Home Office that Watford FC will this week apply for a work permit without Al having to leave the country as an exceptional case. The work permit will be subject to an independent panel because Al doesn`t quality for the work permit through conventional channels”.

Bangura wouldn`t automatically qualify for a work permit given that Sierra Leone, for whom Al is uncapped, sit at 156th in the FIFA rankings – alongside the footballing giants that are Palestine, Tahiti and Mauritius – some 76 places below the ‘Top 70` cut off that applies on all work permit applications.

Ward went on to add ‘His [Bangura] case will be considered by an independent panel which will include members of the Home Office and members of the footballing world. They will consider his track record and what he brings to the game and then recommend to the Home Office whether he should be allowed to stay.’

Let’s just hope then that the panel have seen what the Watford fans have seen and that Al is a classy midfielder with bags of potential!