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Category: Refugees

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Craig Foster – the man behind Hakeem al-Araibi’s remarkable release

Hailed for mobilising the global football family, the SBS commentator now says ‘we are just warming up’On 7 December, 10 days after the Australian refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi was arrested at Bangkok airport, the former Socceroos captain Craig F…

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He’s free, but who’s to blame for Hakeem al-Araibi’s ordeal?

Campaigners examine whether the failings of Interpol, Australian police, the world’s footballing bodies and Thai authorities allowed the refugee athlete to fall into Bahrain’s webAs Hakeem al-Araibi settles back into his life in Melbourne after 76 days…

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Hakeem al-Araibi arrives home in Melbourne – video

Former Socceroo Craig Foster welcomes home refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi at Melbourne airport, where he is greeted by an enthusiastic throng. Al-Araibi was released from prison in Bangkok after a Thai court dropped Bahrain’s deportation case…

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Hakeem al-Araibi arrives in Australia to hero’s welcome

Wife of refugee thanks supporters for helping to secure his release as family call on Bahrain to ‘drop all the fabricated charges’Hakeem al-Araibi arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday, 77 days after he was arrested in Thailand on an Interpol red notice, dra…

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Australia urges Thailand to use its powers to free Hakeem al-Araibi

Request comes as Thai prosecutor confirms country’s attorney general has authority to override court processThe Australian government has renewed demands for the release of Hakeem al-Araibi after the Thai prosecutor publicly confirmed the government ha…

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Hakeem al-Araibi faces further 60 days in Thai jail after extradition hearing

Refugee footballer arrived shackled and barefoot for hearing on Bahrain extradition requestRefugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has been given 60 days to prepare a defence against Bahrain’s attempt to extradite him from Thailand.The 25-year-old will rem…

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Hakeem al-Araibi’s wife begs Canada and NZ for help and says ‘time is running out’

Exclusive: Wife of Bahraini refugee asks leaders to pressure Thai authorities to release her husband“Time is running out” for Hakeem al-Araibi, his wife has written in letters to the leaders of Canada and New Zealand, pleading with them for help to see…

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Hakeem al-Araibi’s detention not Sheikh Salman’s responsibility, AFC says

Asian Football Confederation, which has come under fire for failing to call for the refugee footballer’s release, says its president was recused from overseeing the region 18 months ago The Asian Football Confederation claims its president, Sheikh Salm…

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Football must go in hard on Bahrain over the Hakeem al-Araibi affair | Sean Ingle

It is time for Fifa and the IOC to threaten serious sporting sanctions if the Bahraini footballer detained in Thailand and facing extradition is not set freeThere is a striking story in The Club, Jonathan Clegg and Joshua Robinson’s new book on how the…

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Call for Fifa’s Salman al-Khalifa to step down if Hakeem al-Araibi is not freed

World Players Association questions why there has been no statement from the football body’s vice-president Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa should be disqualified from his positions as vice-president of Fifa and president of the Asian Football Confederation (…

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‘Please help me’: refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi tells of his Thai jail ordeal

Exclusive: In an interview with the Guardian he pleads for his release and says he fears torture and jail if extradited to BahrainHakeem al-Araibi, the refugee footballer from Bahrain who was detained in Thailand while on his honeymoon, has said he is …

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Why Hakeem al-Araibi’s plight is a test of the Olympic movement itself | Nikki Dryden

The IOC cannot watch from the sidelines as an Australian athlete risks a return to tortureIn the 50 days since Hakeem al-Araibi has been held in a Bangkok jail, global events for Olympic sports have continued. The Hockey World Cup and the World Swimmin…

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Female footballers list is a massive win | Brief letters

Top 100 players | Low minimum wages for young people | Steve Bell, Peter Schrank and Keira Knightley | Sandwich puzzle | Placenames: Dorset’s River Jordan and Sodom in WalesAlmost a year ago, I wrote to you after your list of the 100 best footballers i…

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Barefoot to Boots: Socceroo Awer Mabil recognised for refugee work

Forward honoured with 2018 FIFPro Merit Award Initiative in Kenya helps young African refugeesAwer Mabil’s journey from refugee camp to Socceroos dressing room made headlines last month when he made his debut for the national football team, and now the…

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Footballer dropped from Italian team for supporting far right

Teammates of Concetta ‘Titty’ Astarìta refused to play after she was dropped from pro-integration Afro-Napoli sideFrom the stands of the Scarfoglio stadium, just outside Naples, fans on Sunday anxiously awaited the teams’ arrival. The game should have …

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Middlesbrough give refugees football kit and feeling of belonging | Ed Aarons

The Championship club, with a charity, help more than 30 refugees and asylum seekers to socialise, learn English and play footballMutwakil Muhammad Ali beams, resplendent in Middlesbrough’s bright-red home kit. “They are giving me everything – shoes, c…

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Mixed feelings for Syrian exiles as footballers hold on to World Cup dream

Syrians living in Lebanon are proud of their national side but say regime has co-opted its success

Minutes after a late equaliser sent the Syrian football team to a World Cup playoff, Tareq – a football fan and regime critic – was unsure about what to feel, or how to react.

Alongside him in Beirut, two other Syrian exiles, Akram and Hashem, were just as conflicted. All three men, in their late 20s, had fled with their families as war engulfed Syria in 2011. And in six wrenching years since, feelgood moments had been rare, and often contrived.

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Jaber Abdullah: how I set up a refugee football team in Barnsley | Johnny McDevitt

The Sudanese asylum seeker has created a 50-strong squad to help men stuck in immigration limbo in a town that has faced anti-immigration marches

Jaber Abdullah, a Sudanese asylum seeker, says he will never forget the day when Barnsley Football Club gave him tickets to go and watch the team play at their stadium. “It was the first activity any of us had done since we arrived in the UK because we could not afford to go anywhere,” says Abdullah, 40, who set up the Refugee Tigers football team shortly after arriving in the UK and claiming asylum almost two years ago.

Having been sent to live in the south Yorkshire town, he saved £3 from his £30-odd a week benefits, bought a football and started kicking it about in a local park. It wasn’t long before he was joined by another Sudanese asylum seeker. Within a few months, the Tigers’ roster had swelled to more than 50 asylum seekers and refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq and Iran, aged between 18 and 40.

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Jaber Abdullah: how I set up a refugee football team in Barnsley | Johnny McDevitt

The Sudanese asylum seeker has created a 50-strong squad to help men stuck in immigration limbo in a town that has faced anti-immigration marches

Jaber Abdullah, a Sudanese asylum seeker, says he will never forget the day when Barnsley Football Club gave him tickets to go and watch the team play at their stadium. “It was the first activity any of us had done since we arrived in the UK because we could not afford to go anywhere,” says Abdullah, 40, who set up the Refugee Tigers football team shortly after arriving in the UK and claiming asylum almost two years ago.

Having been sent to live in the south Yorkshire town, he saved £3 from his £30-odd a week benefits, bought a football and started kicking it about in a local park. It wasn’t long before he was joined by another Sudanese asylum seeker. Within a few months, the Tigers’ roster had swelled to more than 50 asylum seekers and refugees from Syria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq and Iran, aged between 18 and 40.

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Leicester City and other clubs work together for refugees’ better future

On the weekend of 80th anniversary of Guernica bombing, from which 3,000 children fled Spain for Britain, English clubs will highlight refugees’ contributions

It was an atrocity that inspired Picasso’s most famous painting and, more pertinently, a historic U-turn by Britain’s Conservative government. Until the saturation bombing of Guernica 80 years ago on Wednesday Stanley Baldwin, the prime minister, had rejected all calls to accept refugees from the Spanish civil war.

Whitehall had argued that doing so would breach its policy of non-intervention in the conflict. Besides, added Baldwin, “the climate would not suit” people from the Basque region. Then, on 26 April 1937, Nazi bombers, acting on behalf of General Franco, embarked on a mission to annihilate Guernica, a town of 10,000 people. Hundreds were killed, thousands injured and, as the Guardian reported at the time, “even flocks of sheep were machine-gunned”. Demands from the British public to offer shelter to civilians became so strong that the government felt obliged to show compassion despite a small financial burden and its fear of creeping Communism.

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