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Fighting for Hakeem

How People Power Challenged Two Monarchies, a Military Junta and Football's Governing Body FIFA......

Craig Foster Alex Engel-Mallon

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Hachette Australia
29 October 2019
Football is the world game. It unites. At a grassroots level it creates communities and, in 2019, those communities helped save the life of one of its own.

In 2012, Hakeem al-Araibi was a promising young player on Bahrain's national football team when he was arrested for attacking a police station during the Arab Spring, despite television footage showing him playing soccer at the time of the alleged attack. After three months of torture and wrongful imprisonment, Hakeem was released. He fled the country and made his way to Australia, where he was granted refugee status. Hakeem made a life here and was playing for the suburban Pascoe Vale Football Club, in Melbourne. He thought he was safe.

But, in November 2018, on a holiday to Thailand with his wife, Hakeem was again arrested. The Bahraini government wanted to extradite him to face a ten-year jail sentence, or worse. What happened next shows the best of what soccer can do, and the worst the governing body of FIFA brings. If it wasn't for the Australian soccer community and former Socceroo Craig Foster, Hakeem may never have been freed.

This powerful memoir reveals how a local soccer legend fought tirelessly to help bring home a man he'd never met. From Pascoe Vale to Switzerland, Canberra to Thailand, Foster raised his voice and tens of thousands of Australians were galvanised to #FreeHakeem. Foster lobbied FIFA and the United Nations and worked with human rights organisations worldwide to enable Hakeem's safe return to his wife in Australia.

Despite being from different backgrounds, religions and generations, Craig Foster and Hakeem al-Araibi are united forever through their love of the world game and their fight for freedom.
By:   Craig Foster, Alex Engel-Mallon
Imprint:   Hachette Australia
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   460g
ISBN:   9780733643163
ISBN 10:   0733643167
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   29 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Craig Foster is a former player with, and captain of, the Socceroos. Following his retirement from the field, Craig has built a multiple Logie-winning broadcast career with the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) alongside some of the great icons of football broadcasting including Johnny Warren and Les Murray. A highly respected media presenter, he is also a global advocate for diversity and social harmony. Craig is a member of the Multicultural Council of Australia and works with a vast range of social programs in Indigenous football, homelessness, domestic violence and refugee advocacy. He is an Ambassador for Human Rights and Refugees with Amnesty Australia and is a former Chairman, Life Member and CEO of Professional Footballers Australia (PFA), Australia's representative body of the Socceroos, Matildas and professional players around the world. Craig has a Masters of International Sport Management and Postgraduate Degree in Football Management and is currently completing his law degree.

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