Pa Salieu claims he was “removed” from the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games for failing the “background check”.

British rapper Pa Salieu has claimed to have been removed from the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony after being told he “failed a background check”.

On Tuesday, August 2, the rapper took to social media to tell his fans that he would not be appearing at the Birmingham event later this month after receiving a phone call telling him that he be removed from the show.

In a statement, Salieu – who moved to nearby Coventry when he was 8 – claimed the move was linked to an earlier court appearance, writing: “I can no longer keep quiet about these things!! I’ve already had to cancel 90 percent of my shows this year because the Home Office won’t process the paperwork I need to travel abroad until my court case is complete.”

At Warwick Crown Court earlier this year, Salieu was acquitted of involvement in violent rioting during a 2018 brawl in which his friend Fidel Glasgow – the grandson of The Specials singer Neville Staple – was stabbed to death. However, he was convicted of possession of a bottle as an assault weapon.

He continued, “I have fully cooperated with the process. Showed up in court on time every day. The trial ended in March, but they are only postponing the final sentencing date, which was supposed to be in May.”

Salieu, winner of the BBC Sound of 2021 award, continued: “I have always tried to use my career to show people where I come from, that there is another life for us. One off the streets. But what can you do if the police, the judiciary and the interior ministry don’t take care of you and do everything they can to prevent you from getting on with your life?

The Independent reached out to the Commonwealth Games for comment and received this statement from a Birmingham 2022 spokesman: “Everyone involved in the Games will go through the same accreditation process; including our volunteers, artists, athletes, contractors and workers. We cannot comment on individual accreditation applications. This process makes it easier to deliver the games.”

(Explanation by Pa Salieu/Twitter)

(Explanation by Pa Salieu/Twitter)

Salieu ended his statement by writing: “Next week’s performance should have been a celebration. “What’s the real reason here? How can you fail a “background check” at a graduation ceremony? What does that even mean?”

Pa Salieu’s representative was contacted for comment. Pa Salieu claims he was “removed” from the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games for failing the “background check”.


JOE HERNANDEZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JOE HERNANDEZ joined USTimeToday in 2022 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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