Football Federation Australia (FFA) today thanked Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs, players, fans and the wider Australian football community for supporting #SaveHakeem.
Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League clubs, in partnership with FFA and PFA, showed their unified support for Hakeem al-Araibi last weekend with joint team photos prior to matches behind a #SaveHakeem banner.
National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland clubs Brisbane Strikers and Western Pride FC also displayed #SaveHakeem banners in support of the campaign.
The images were tweeted and retweeted by thousands of football fans in Australia and around the world as a show of support and solidarity for Hakeem al-Araibi.
FFA CEO David Gallop re-stated calls for Hakeem to be immediately allowed to return to Australia.
“Hakeem al-Araibi is a permanent Australian resident and footballer at Pascoe Vale FC. After a thorough process, he was assessed by the Australian Government to be a refugee. This is a fundamental human right that must be protected. We ask that the Government of Thailand release Hakeem to safely return to his family and home in Australia as a matter of urgency,” Gallop said.
“The level of support for Hakeem went up another level over the weekend. More and more fans and players are actively calling for Hakeem to be released, both in Australia and around the world. I urge this vocal support to continue.
“I would like to personally thank PFA, Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League Clubs, the players and of course the fans who posted their messages of support throughout the weekend.”
After consultation with Professional Footballers Australia, Football Federation Australia has also pledged $10,000 to kick-start fundraising efforts to help continue the global advocacy campaign to get Hakeem back to Australia.
Members of the football family can also continue to show their support for Hakeem by completing the online petition at Amnesty.org.au.