Or Mabel said scoring a penalty in the win over Peru and leading Australia to their fifth consecutive World Cup was a thank you to Australia for accommodating him and his family as refugees.
Born to South Sudanese parents in a Kenyan refugee camp, Mabel took the sixth penalty and then saw Andrew Redmayne save the sixth kick from Peru’s Alex Valera to send Australia to the final.
“I knew I was going to score,” the 26-year-old told reporters from Qatar. It was the only way to say thank you to Australia, from me and my family. My family has fled Sudan because of the war. I was born in a hut.. My hotel room here is bigger than the room we had as a family in a refugee camp. Australia welcomed us, resettled us and gave me and my family a chance to live.”
Mabel hopes his contribution will help create a new perspective on refugees in Australia. “Now I think I can have an impact on Australian football,” he added. We’re going to the World Cup. I scored the penalty, a lot of my teammates scored, we all played a part, yes, maybe that refugee kid played a big part. So on behalf of my family to thank all of Australia.”