‘It’s now become an emergency’: Worrying update on jailed footballer Hakeem al-Araibi
Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster says the plight of detained footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has reached “become an emergency”.
Hakeem has been held in a Thai jail for 63 days after being arrested on his honeymoon.
He’s subject to an extradition request from his home nation Bahrain, which he fled in 2014 after claiming to have been tortured.
The 25-year-old is an Australian permanent resident after being granted refugee status, and is a semi-professional footballer in Melbourne.
In recent days, Bahrain has officially submitted extradition papers with the Thai government, ignoring a direct request from FIFA to cease.
SBS Football Commentator Craig Foster has led the global fight for Hakeem to be returned to Australia.
He speaks with Alan Jones live from FIFA Headquarters in Switzerland, just hours after a successful meeting.
“We’ve had a very robust discussion over the last couple of hours today with FIFA.
“In the end they have agreed, I’m very pleased to say, that in the course of this week they want high-level meetings with both countries.
“That means in Bahrain’s case, the football association, the government and the royal family.
“Now, they’re going to be dealt with so it’s a wonderful outcome.”
This innocent young man will receive strongest possible advocacy, we’ve fought many battles together over the years, this is the most important, someone’s life. There’s no stopping, no compromise. Football needs to stand up now for the most fundamental value, justice #SaveHakeem
— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) January 27, 2019
Craig says it’s a positive step but believes Bahrain is working with Thailand to expedite Hakeem’s extradition.
“It’s now become an emergency.”
Click PLAY below to hear the interview with Craig