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Hakeem al-Araibi takes up full-time role at Football Victoria

Hakeem al-Araibi

Football Victoria (FV) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) have announced that Hakeem Al-Araibi’s role as FV’s Community and Human Rights Advocate will now be a permanent full-time position.

Al-Araibi was released from a Thailand prison earlier this year, after being detained there for a period of more than 70 days. His story garnered attention in Australia and around the world, with former Socceroos captain Craig Foster leading the charge to bring al-Araibi home.

Read More: How Hakeem Al-Araibi’s triumphant return to Australia demonstrates the beauty of soccer

He was released from the prison in February after a worldwide campaign.

The 25-year-old returned to play for Pascoe Vale FC in March, whilst also representing FV at community football clubs, gala days and various other events in Victoria and around the country.

Al-Araibi received his Australian citizenship after his return to Australia this year.

“I am very proud and happy to be able to work in the Victorian and Australian football communities full-time to share my story. I want people to continue to play football because it’s a very important part of the community and our lives,” Mr al-Araibi said.

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos and PFA Chief Executive John Didulica claimed Hakeem’s work inspiring Victoria’s multicultural football communities was extremely successful and that it was important to put him in a full-time position in the FV setup.

“Hakeem’s story shows the true power and positive impact football can have both here and around the world. His strength and resilience make him truly an inspirational person and emerging young leader,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“We are very proud to continue to work with Football Victoria to ensure Hakeem’s ongoing employment. Hakeem’s campaign was a great demonstration of the power of the game united, so to be able to continue to work with Hakeem and our colleagues within the football family at FV is genuinely important and of great benefit to so many young players,” Mr Didulica concluded.

Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Football West to welcome Jamie Harnwell as new CEO

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Football West has announced the appointment of Jamie Harnwell as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organisation.

Harnwell will succeed outgoing CEO James Curtis, who is stepping down after spending almost six years in the role.

Harnwell has been involved with Football West for over 12 years, with his most recent position being Chief Football Officer. Prior to that, he had worked as Acting Chief Operating Officer and Head of Development.

Before joining Football West, Harnwell was the captain of A-Leagues club Perth Glory, as well as the record-appearance holder He made 256 appearances for the Glory men’s squad, where in the process he was involved in back-to-back national championships.

Football West Chairman Sherif Andrawes:

“Football West is delighted to announce Jamie Harnwell as our new CEO,” he said.

“Jamie is a real football person, from his days as a star player at Perth Glory to becoming a top coach in both the A-League Women’s and NPLWA – Men’s competitions. He has transferred the drive and dedication needed to succeed on the pitch to his roles at Football West.

“In addition, Jamie also possesses the necessary skills and vision to drive Football West forward as we continue to grow the sport in WA and we move towards the opening of the State Football Centre and the 2023 Women’s World Cup and beyond.

“Jamie has worked closely with James Curtis for a number of years, and in terms of senior management, it is great that he has been able to ‘learn on the job’ and is well placed to lead the team at Football West over what will be an exciting period for our sport in WA.

“Following an extensive nationwide search and the assessment of several excellent candidates, Jamie proved to be the stand-out. We look forward to him leading Football West in the years ahead and continuing the terrific progress achieved under James Curtis.”

Incoming Football West Chief Executive Officer Jamie Harnwell:

“It is exciting to become CEO of Football West and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

“We are the biggest team sport in the country in terms of participation and we are in a fantastic position. But there is still plenty of potential for further growth, especially here in WA.

“It has been terrific to work with James Curtis and gain invaluable experience, now I am ready to put my own stamp on the position.”

Harnwell will work together with Curtis until the latter departs from Football West on March 31, 2022.

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

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