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AFC appeals for Hakeem Al Araibi’s urgent release


Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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Abu Dhabi: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has written to His Excellency Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, to request the urgent release of the footballer Hakeem Al Araibi from detention in Bangkok.


The AFC Senior Vice President, Praful Patel contacted the Thai Prime Minister to ask for an immediate intervention to allow Mr Al Araibi to return to Australia, where he has been granted Refugee Status.

Mr Patel was asked by the AFC Executive Committee in 2017 to handle all matters relating to issues arising in the AFC’s West Zone.

On Tuesday, he wrote: “As stated publicly on numerous occasions, the AFC has been in constant contact with FIFA and other stakeholders. Through the AFC Administration, there has been a constructive dialogue with many of the relevant bodies in this case, including the Football Association of Thailand.

“Therefore, on behalf of the AFC, I hereby respectfully request Your Excellency to take the necessary steps to ensure that Mr AI Araibi is returned safely to Australia, where he has been granted Refugee Status, at the earliest possible opportunity.

“The AFC joins FIFA and other stakeholders in the belief that his release will respect Thailand's obligations under international law and demonstrate the basic human and humanitarian values, which are held dearly by your country.

“To help bring about a speedy resolution to this case, the AFC puts its Administration at your disposal to aid the Thai Government in any way possible and the AFC thanks Your Excellency and your Government for considering the AFC’s appeal for the release of Mr Al Araibi as quickly as possible.”

The full letter can be viewed via this link