Football Victoria supports Mr. Hakeem al-Araibi's safe return to Australia

In conjunction with Football Federation Australia (FFA), Football Victoria (FV) has been monitoring the situation of Pascoe Vale F.C. footballer Mr. Hakeem al-Araibi, who was recently detained at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and has been kept in detention pending an extradition hearing.

Mr. al-Araibi is a permanent resident of Australia, and was also granted refugee status by the Australian Government.

With the support of the Victorian football community, Mr al-Araibi has been able to build a new life for himself in Australia and contributes strongly to the football community through his relationship with Pascoe Vale F.C.

FV has been in regular contact with Pascoe Vale F.C., providing support as required, alongside Football Federation Australia (FFA), Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), FIFA and a number of other members of the Australian football family who have all expressed public concern about Mr. al-Araibi’s situation.

FV has written directly to the Prime Minister of Thailand expressing football’s support for Mr. al-Araibi. FFA has also been in regular contact with the Australian Government and separately, has written to the Ambassador of Thailand to Australia to formally express a desire for Mr. al-Araibi to be returned safely to Australia. A copy of this letter was also provided to the Football Association of Thailand.

FV welcomes advice that the Australian Government has formally requested the Government of Thailand release Mr. al-Araibi from detention and allow him to return to Australia as soon as possible.

FV is pleased to hear that senior Australian Government officials will continue to make high level diplomatic representations with their Thai counterparts on this matter. We understand talks will be ongoing.