In 1995, professional footballer Awer Bul Mabil was born in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. 26 years later, Mabil will head to the FIFA men's World Cup in Qatar, representing Australia after the Socceroos became the latest team to book a spot in the global showpiece.
From Kakuma refugee camp to World Cup, story of Awer Mabil
Mabil scored a penalty to send Australia to the FIFA World Cup
On Monday, June 13, Australia for the fifth time in a row qualified for the FIFA World Cup after a 5-4 penalty shootout win against Peru at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, one of the stadia set to be used during the tournament.
Mabil was instrumental to the success of the Socceroos last night after scoring Australia's sixth and final penalty before Australian goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne who was substituted on for the shootout saved Alex Valera's spot kick.
"I knew I was going to score. It was the only way to say thank you to Australia on behalf of my family," the winger told Press immediately after the shootout. Reflecting back on a difficult past, Mabil dedicated the win to his family and most importantly the country that took them in.
"I was born in a hut, a little hut. My hotel room here is definitely bigger than the hut, the room we had as a family in that refugee camp. For Australia to take us in and resettle us, it gave me and my siblings and my whole family a chance at life. That's what I mean by thanking Australia for that chance of life, that chance of opportunity they allowed my family," stated Mabil.
After being resettled in Australia with his family in 2006, Mabil developed a love for football that resulted in him securing a professional contract at Adelaide United as a teenager before securing a move to Denmark's FC Midtjylland. Mabil is currently on loan with Turkish club Kasımpaşa.