Monday 11 February 2019
Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) welcomed news that footballer Hakeem al-Araibi will be returned safely to Australia.
FFA Chairman Chris Nikou thanked the football community for its support and praised those who have led the efforts to ensure justice prevailed.
“We are extremely grateful to the Governments of Thailand and Bahrain for taking the decision to allow Hakeem to return to Australia,” said Nikou
“We have seen our community unite in an extraordinary way over the past few months to campaign for Hakeem’s release.
“We would particularly like to thank former Socceroo Craig Foster for his tireless efforts in leading this campaign and we also acknowledge the work of Professional Footballers Australia, Football Victoria and Pascoe Vale FC.
“I know the Australian Government has been working on this every day since his detention and I would like to personally thank the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Embassy staff, DFAT and all sides of politics for their support.
“I would also like to thank FFA Chief Executive Officer David Gallop, Chief Operations Officer and Head of International Relations Mark Falvo and their teams who have played an important part behind the scenes with FIFA, AFC as well as the Australian Government to support their efforts.
“The football family looks forward to welcoming Hakeem home and providing him with ongoing support after such a difficult period,” concluded Mr Nikou.