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Al-Araibi situation now 'an absolute emergency', says Foster

21:13 GMT 28/01/2019
Craig Foster
The former Socceroo has called on the situation to be resolved by the end of the week

After meeting with FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura on Monday, Craig Foster has declared the plight of Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi 'an absolute emergency'.

The professional footballer has been detained in Thailand over the past two months and faces deportation back to Bahrain where he will likely be imprisoned and possibly tortured, according to Amnesty International, for speaking out against the royal family

Foster has led the push to see Al-Araibi released and is putting increasing pressure on FIFA to act swiftly after Bahrain submitted official documents for his extradition.

"This matter has become an absolute emergency," Foster said. 

"We want it to be resolved this week - before Friday."

Armed with a petition boasting more than 50,000 signatures, Foster left his meeting with FIFA with some optimism but stressed the situation is a timely one. 

"It was a good outcome and we have got FIFA to escalate the issue and to acknowledge it is now an emergency," he told AAP.

"FIFA have agreed that the next step is to articulate that all the attention has been on Thailand and Bahrain have been left aside unfairly.

"I can only thank FIFA for agreeing to meet us.

"In true Aussie fashion we rocked up on their doorstep and they gave us their time, and for that, we are very grateful.

"Given the actions of Bahrain this morning, there really is no time to lose and we want it to be resolved this week, before Friday."

Foster recently hit out at AFC president Sheikh Salman for his lack of action on the matter declaring him 'morally bankrupt'