Al-Araibi Trains inside Prison to Play with Pascoe Vale
2019-02-07 - 9:57 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Football analyst Craig Foster said that the Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi is determined to return to the pitch once his nightmare comes to an end in Thailand.
Al-Araibi vowed he'll be ready to play for Victorian side Pascoe Vale once he's released.
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.
Al-Araibi told Craig Foster "Tell them I'll be strong, ready to play". Foster said "[Al-Araibi is making] pushups and running without shoes," indicating that he has never seen anything like Al-Araibi's smile when he heard about Giorgio Chiellini and Didier Drogba. Al-Araibi commented "a footballer's passion never dies".
Al-Araibi told Foster that he will repay Australia with everything he has, and asked him to tell MP Scott Morrison that he will make a big contribution to the country.
Pascoe Vale club has registered Hakeem Al-Araibi for the 2019 season. "He is No 5 on the team sheet and his shirt is waiting," the club added.
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.