FIFA renews support for detained footballer al-Araibi to be returned to Australia

 theworldgame.sbs.com.au  01/09/2019 20:53:41 

Hakeem al-Araibi has been in detention in Thailand for over a month after an authorities acted on an Interpol warrant for his arrest at Bangkok Airport in early December.

Since then several high-profile Australian football identities, including former Socceroos captain Craig Foster have been pushing for al-Araibi's return to Australia.

The ex-Bahrain international, who played in Victoria with the Pascoe Vale club, has refugee status in Australia after fleeing Bahrain in 2012.

Rights activists say he was tortured after being arrested prior to his departure from Bahrain.

"Following a renewed exchange with the Australian Football Federation, FIFA is again calling for a humane and speedy resolution of the case concerning the player Hakeem Al Araibi," FIFA said in a statement released on Wednesday.

"FIFA is therefore calling on all the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure that Mr Hakeem Al-Araibi is allowed to return safely to Australia where he can resume his career as a professional footballer."

Thailand and Bahrain face each other in a group stage fixture of the Asian Cup in Dubai on Thursday.

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