Football must go in hard on Bahrain over the Hakeem al-Araibi affair | Sean Ingle

It is time for Fifa and the IOC to threaten serious sporting sanctions if the Bahraini footballer detained in Thailand and facing extradition is not set free

There is a striking story in The Club, Jonathan Clegg and Joshua Robinson’s new book on how the Premier League went global, that illustrates football’s inimitable ability to tickle the erogenous zones of the powerful. It turns out that when British prime ministers want to make deals, their secret weapon is the Premier League trophy. As the league’s former CEO Richard Scudamore explains: “Everyone who sees it will say, ‘Wow’. Heads of state, prime ministers – they all want a photo with the trophy. It’s what we like to call soft power.”

Related: ‘Please help me’: refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi tells of his Thai jail ordeal

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Source: theguardian