After His Meeting with FIFA, Craig Foster Says: Al-Araibi's Plight Now an Emergency, We Want it to be Resolved this Week

2019-01-29 - 9:09 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Australian football player and analyst Craig Foster called to find a solution for Hakeem Al-Araibi case before the end of the week.

"This matter has become an absolute emergency," Foster said after meeting with FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura. "We want it to be resolved this week, before Friday."

The meeting was held in the presence of Brendan Schwab, executive director of athlete support group World Players Association.

Given the actions of Bahrain this morning, there really is no time to lose and we want it to be resolved this week, before Friday," Associated Press reported Craig's statement in FIFA headquarters.

Armed with a petition boasting more than 50,000 signatures, Foster left his meeting with FIFA with some optimism but stressed the situation is a timely one, the sports Goal website stated.

Foster said "It was a good outcome and we have got FIFA to escalate the issue and to acknowledge it is now an emergency."

"FIFA have agreed that the next step is to articulate that all the attention has been on Thailand and Bahrain have been left aside unfairly," he added.

FIFA agreed with Al-Araibi's supporters, Foster said, that they need to increase contacts with government and soccer officials in Bahrain and Thailand, "and of course the royal family of Bahrain."

Foster has recently criticized the Asian Football Confederation president, Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, for not taking any measure in this regard.

Bahrain's government submitted on Monday (January 28, 2019) documents for the extradition of Hakeem Al Araibi, a Bahraini refugee footballer held in prison in Thailand.

Former FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, who competed against Infantino and Sheikh Salman in the 2016 election, has supported the player.

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