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Socceroos press conference shuts down questions about Hakeem Al-Araibi

01:05 GMT+3 25/01/2019
Hakeem Al-Araibi
The green and gold haven't been allowed to have their say on an important matter

A question regarding Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi has been swiftly shutdown at a Socceroos press conference at the Asian Cup.

Al-Araibi has been detained in Thailand since December and despite living in Australia since 2014 now faces deportation back to Bahrain where he faces imprisonment and torture, according to Amnesty International. 

Having played football semi-professionally in the country, support for Al-Araibi within Australian football circles has been growing by the day, led by former Socceroo Craig Foster.

Despite that support, the national team has been quiet on the matter as they compete in the UAE at the Asian Cup and a recent question regarding Al-Araibi at an Australian press conference was quickly shut down.

The reaction comes just days after Foster visited Al-Araibi in detention and reiterated the desperate nature of the situation.

"Hakeem is losing hope," Foster said.

"He's feeling very vulnerable and he's extremely worried about going back to Bahrain.

"While FIFA are silent, they are complicit — as is Sheikh Salman — they are complicit in Hakeem Al-Araibi sitting in a cell here."

Foster also revealed that Al-Araibi has been playing football behind bars - an irony that wasn't lost on the refugee.

"Why am I playing behind bars?" Al-Araibi reportedly asked Foster.

"They took my career and they broke my heart, because I love my wife and I love football. The two things I love the most, they've taken from me."