Craig Foster to AFP: Fight to Free Hakeem was Most Important Battle of My Life
2019-02-15 - 6:39 ص
Bahrain Mirror: The Agence France-Presse (AFP) said that ex-Socceroos captain Craig Foster, who was capped 29 times for his country, believes the fight to free Hakeem Al-Araibi was the most important battle of his life.
The young Bahraini footballer and refugee is on his way back to Australia from detention in Bangkok and it is largely thanks to player-turned-commentator Foster.
Foster said that this battle was vital for saving football's soul.
Foster told AFP that this "was not just about Australia keeping its word to offer a young man refuge from persecution, but about the fate of football itself."
He believes that this case is the start the process of redeeming the soul of sport from the "sordid" grip of big money and politics.
"It was clear to us in football that this kid was in serious trouble, because football was never going to come to his aid," Foster told AFP.
The agency stated that this is the first time Foster enters the world of politics.
"None of us have ever done anything like this before, it's completely new," Foster said after visiting the imprisoned Araibi to deliver messages of support.
The visit touched Foster personally.
"When I met him it was very emotional because I saw a kid who's terrified for his life and I've never ever actually been confronted by that before."
"It's tiring, it's exhausting emotionally and physically but so what? Hakeem's sitting in a cell with 50 other people and he's sleeping on a concrete floor," Foster said.
"We are fighting a cause that we believe in very strongly... don't underestimate the power of saving this young man and forcing sport to better recognize and uphold human rights in the future."