An Australian soccer coach kidnapped in Yemen has appeared in a video recording saying his captors demand the Australian government pay a ransom in exchange for his release.
The video, released on the internet, featured the Australian hostage, identified as Craig Bruce McAllister, appealing to his government to pay the ransom and to facilitate his return to Australia.
In the 24-second video he appears unharmed and says he’s been kidnapped by an unnamed group.
‘I have been working as a football coach … At the moment I am kidnapped by a group here,” he says in the footage.
“They are requesting that the Australian government send the money they have requested.”
— Yemen Post Newspaper (@YemenPostNews) October 10, 2016
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Wednesday her department was seeking to provide consular support to the man’s family and was working hard to ascertain more information.
‘We do understand that an Australian who has been in Yemen for some time has been kidnapped, but we don’t know the details,’ she told Sky News.
McAllister’s assistant, Abdullah al-Maghribi, told news agency EFE that his boss had been coaching U-16 players at Al-Ahli Sanaa soccer club for two years now, and used to work as coach in Al-Ahli Taizz in southern Yemen for four years.
AL-Maghribi added that the coach has been kidnapped by an Islamist group, without identifying its name.
He begged the captors to release the 56-year-old man, who is working with a charitable Christian group devoted for humanitarian work in Asia and Europe.