The FFA have pulled the plug on a planned Olyroos training camp in Thailand as the international row escalates over the jailing of Australian footballer Hakeem Alaraibi.
The proposed trip to Thailand was intended to be part of the under 23 men’s national team preparations for the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers in March.
The move came after consultation with Socceroos and Olyroos coach, Graham Arnold, and follows a Thai court's decision to hold Pascoe Vale FC's Alaraibi in jail until April 22.
Alaraibi has been caught in an extradition nightmare since a series of blunders saw him arrested on arrival at Bangkok on behalf of Bahrain where he faces trumped up charges.
Alaraibi has been a critic of the Bahrain government and the head of Bahrain FA since fleeing the country after he was jailed and tortured. He was granted political asylum in Australia and is a permanent resident awaiting full Australian citizenship.
Now Graham Arnold has vowed to boycott his training plans in Thailand while the row ensues.
“Last year, the National Team Department had put some preliminary plans in place to play against China in Bangkok as part of our important preparation for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualifiers to be held in Cambodia in March," said Arnold today.
“On our return from the recent AFC Asian Cup we reassessed our plans due to the ongoing detainment of Australian footballer Hakeem Alaraibi in a Thai prison.
“We are in the process of rearranging our pre-tournament camp in another Asian nation.
“Australia’s national teams are united in their support for Hakeem Alaraibi and we call on the community to continue to campaign for his release.”
* Melbourne Rebels have faced a savage social media backlash today after they unveiled a new sponsor partnership with Thai Airways. The Super Rugby today tweeted out an apology and insisted: "We have not intended to cause any offence...this is in no way intended to be an endorsement for the breach of any individual's rights of the actions of any government. We support the movement to #SaveHakeem and will use our new relationship with the airline to engage with them directly."