Al-Araibi 'ready to play' for Pascoe Vale, promises to repay Australia
The detained footballer is determined to return to the pitch once his nightmare comes to an end
As Hakeem Al-Araibi faces a further 60 days in a Thailand detention centre after formally asking not to be sent back to Bahrain, the refugee has vowed he’ll be ready to play for Victorian side Pascoe Vale once he’s released.
The former Bahraini international will face court again in April as he looks to avoid extradition back to his homeland where he claims he’ll face torture and possible death for speaking out against the royal family.
Having played semi-professional football for Pascoe Vale in Australia, where he obtained refugee status in 2017, Al-Araibi has been training inside detention to ensure he’s ready to play upon his release.
Pascoe Vale, who compete in Victoria’s National Premier League, have registered Al-Araibi for the upcoming season and reserved his number on the teamsheet.
The global football community has joined the fight to #SaveHakeem with Didier Drogba and Giorgio Chiellini lending their voices to the cause.
Former Socceroo Craig Foster has led the charge and though set to return from Thailand on Thursday, has vowed to keep up the fight.
“Feel guilty leaving if something needed here but important meetings planned at home as well,” Foster wrote on Twitter.
“I’ll take a day to review where we’re at, next steps in the campaign, who to target and let everyone know shortly.”
Football Federation Australia decided to relocate a planned training camp in Thailand on Wednesday as a result of the ongoing situation.
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