In 2018, while on his honeymoon in Thailand, Australian political refugee and football player Hakeem al-Araibi unwittingly steps into a deadly trap. Arrested under an illegitimate Interpol warrant issued by Bahrain, he was detained by Thai authorities and awaited extradition back to Bahrain, where he would be likely tortured and potentially killed. Bahrain hoped the extradition would be quiet and quick. From his jail cell, a desperate Hakeem sent a short video SOS back to Australia asking for help. A few years earlier, a number of Gulf States began countering falling oil prices and covering their human rights abuses by using football as a way to gain prestige and political power. Bahraini Royal Sheikh, Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa’s FIFA 2016 presidential bid (one of the most powerful positions in world sport) was a key part of this tactic. A frontrunner to win, the Sheikh’s candidacy hit a road block when former national team player Hakeem al-Araibi, now a protected refugee in Australia, revealed to the world’s press that he and many of his teammates had been tortured for taking part in the Arab Spring uprising while Al Khalifa had been in charge of Bahrain football. Still reeling from years of corruption - FIFA was looking to clean up its act, and Al Khalifa brought too much baggage. Salman lost his presidential bid. In 2018, the Bahraini monarchy was given its chance for revenge. The Australian border force mistakenly alerted Thailand - a monarchy with close economic ties to Bahrain - of a bogus arrest warrant for Hakeem, issued to Interpol by Bahrain years earlier. Hakeem, who was now a free refugee under Australia’s protection, was illegally arrested immediately on arrival in Bangkok. As Hakeem awaited extradition, would football’s governing bodies fight to save this footballer’s life - or would he be quietly sent back to the country who wanted him dead? Hakeem’s SOS video was received by Fatima Yazbek - a Middle Eastern human rights activist, and Lou Tona, Chair of Pascoe Vale FC - Hakeem’s team in Melbourne, who had no idea why he would be arrested. They began contacting everyone they could think of to try to help Hakeem. But while their grassroots campaign began to gather some momentum, it was not gaining the noise it needed to attract international attention. Enter Craig Foster - former captain of the Australian team, the Socceroos, and the face of football on Australian TV. Outraged that FIFA was doing nothing to help a fellow footballer and that the Australian government remained silent, Foster became the on-field general the campaign desperately needed. Together with a rag-tag team of social media warriors recruited from all over the world, the #SaveHakeem campaign would take on new life. What follows is an incredible end-to-end thriller fought on an uneven geo-political playing field against opposition willing to use dirty tactics. Playing for the ultimate stakes, Craig and his team will have to adapt and outwit if they are to pull off the ultimate come from behind victory. The disastrous plot to create a Super League of clubs, the rising death toll of immigrant workers building Qatar’s 2022 World Cup stadiums and big business’ strangulation of football culture. Once, football stood for passion, community, honour, even beauty - but corruption and greed has meant ‘the people’s game’ is in danger of losing everything it stands for. Against this backdrop, we tell the story of how an unlikely group of fans, led by a retired football captain, created a movement that took on a military junta, two monarchies and the world’s richest and most influential sporting body - to save the life of a single footballer, but also to defend the very soul of football itself.