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Push To Grant Hakeem al-Araibi Australian Citizenship

He's visiting Canberra

Push To Grant Hakeem al-Araibi Australian Citizenship AAP

A push to grant Hakeem al-Araibi citizenship in Australia is underway as the refugee footballer visits the nation's capital.

Just two days after touching down in his hometown of Melbourne from Thailand, where he was detained and threatened with extradition to Bahrain, the 25-year-old visited Canberra on Thursday.

He began the day by watching an early morning friendly football match between politicians and professional players, including former Socceroo and Matildas captains Craig Foster and Kate Gill.

He also met MPs including Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor foreign affairs spokesperson Senator Penny Wong.

Labor MP Andrew Giles, who represents the Victorian electorate of Scullin where Mr al-Araibi lives, told the Pascoe Vale Football Club player he would write to the government about granting him citizenship.

"I've got a letter to give to the immigration minister on your behalf," Mr Giles said.

"Thank you so much," Mr al-Araibi replied.

Mr Giles said he thought of the footballer player on Australia Day during citizenship ceremonies and hoped he would be granted Australian nationality soon.

Mr al-Araibi will later on Thursday meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The footballer's case attracted global attention after he was arrested in Bangkok in late November at the request of Bahrain, which was seeking his extradition.

He was wanted after fleeing the country when charged with vandalising a police station in 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in jail in absentia. Mr Al-Araibi denied the crime, saying he was playing in a nationally televised soccer match at the time.

Under diplomatic pressure, Bahrain this week dropped the case, allowing Mr al-Araibi to return to Australia.

On his return to Melbourne, Mr al-Araibi openly declared his love for Australia.

"I don't have citizenship yet but my country is Australia. I will die in Australia and I love Australia. Thank you very much," he said.

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