Australian Football Player Craig Foster Visits Hakeem Al-Araibi in His Prison in Thailand, Calls Football Community and FIFA to Support Al-Araibi’s Case
2019-01-22 - 11:06 p
Bahrain Mirror: The Australian SBS website stated that former Socceroo and SBS's chief football analyst Craig Foster visited Hakeem Al-Araibi in Bangkok Remand Prison earlier today.
After seeing Al-Araibi, Foster headed to the Australian embassy to meet the ambassador in a tour that includes series of meeting to pressure to help Hakeem.
"I spent a considerable amount of time with Hakeem, enough to see what a wonderful young man he is; and how devastated he is that his football career in recent years has been lost," Foster said.
He posted on his Twitter account a tweet saying "To all #SaveHakeem supporters: You're his greatest hope. Visited him in prison this morning. It was very emotional. He's losing hope but when told what you've all done said it gives him strength. Not so active next few days with meetings in Bangkok. Please keep it up!"
Foster explained that he visited the refugee footballer in prison as part of his duties as a former chairman of Australia's Professional Footballers Association, which has been lobbying for the release of the semi-professional footballer who played for Pascoe Vale FC in Melbourne.
Foster said that Hakeem is "worried because the case has been ongoing for so long now...he is worried as he said: Bahrain is winning."
"I need you guys to win," said Hakeem, and Foster answered I think we will win. Foster also told him how the fans in Australia had taken it upon themselves to stand in the fifth minute [of the A-League football games] and clap for a minute to share solidarity with him.
SBS website indicated in a tweet that Foster fought back tears as he revealed refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi is 'losing hope' in his battle to be released from a Thai prison.
Foster posted a tweet following the meeting saying "it's intensely emotional and personal to see a fellow player, refugee and young man in this position, and condition."
He called on the football community, namely FIFA and all his supports to work in order to save Hakeem.
Bahraini footballer and Australian permanent resident Hakeem Al-Araibi has been detained in Bangkok for 57 days, where he was arrested once he arrived Thailand with his wife to spend their honeymoon.