Fifa urges Thailand to stop Bahraini footballer’s deportation
Bangkok: Fifa has contacted the Thailand government over the detention of Bahraini footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi here.
The footballer holds refugee status in Australia, is being held in a Bangkok prison on an Interpol warrant issued by Bahrain. He was on a holiday in Thailand when authorities detained him at an airport on November 27.
In 2014, he was sentenced in absentia in Bahrain to 10 years in prison for vandalising a police station but denied the charges, the BBC reported.
In a letter to Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Fifa said the former Bahrain player is “at serious risk of mistreatment in his home country”.
The 25-year-old fears he would be tortured and possibly killed if he was extradited back to his home country. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Hakeem said the ongoing case has left him “terrified” and he is “losing hope”.
The footballer fled to Australia in 2014. He was granted political asylum in 2017 and plays for Melbourne football club Pascoe Vale.