hakeem returns to soccer training

Hakeem returns to soccer training


Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has trained in Melbourne for the first time since arriving home from Thaliand.

Al-Araibi, a permanent resident of Australia, was arrested in Bangkok after Bahrain pursued him over allegations he vandalised a police station, which he denies.

He returned to Australia last week after spending more than two months bin prison following a decision by Thai authorities not to pursue extradition proceedings against him.

His return to the training field with semi-professional club Pascoe Vale on Monday night, was met with little fanfare.

Players took to the field around 7.30pm after a brief meeting with soccer bosses and al-Araibi was the last one on the pitch.

He wore a fluoro yellow training top with black shorts, black socks and white boots.

Officials continued their meeting as training began to discuss plans to acknowledge al-Araibi’s return to Australia before Pascoe Vale’s match against Bentleigh on Friday night.

A club spokesman told AAP al-Araibi would not play but would walk onto the pitch with players.