Graham Arnold, the head coach of the Australian national football team, recently opened up about a heartbreaking moment he had to share with one of his players, Awer Mabil. Mabil, a winger for the Socceroos, had an eerie premonition that something was wrong with his family while he was away on national team duty.
As it turned out, Mabil’s premonition was tragically accurate. His sister, Bor, had died suddenly back home in South Sudan. Arnold had the unenviable task of breaking the news to Mabil, who was understandably devastated.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Arnold spoke about the difficulty of that moment. “It was shattering. You know, when you sit in a room with a player like Awer, who’s such a big personality, such a great kid, and he’s crying his eyes out because he’s just lost his sister, it’s very difficult,” Arnold said.
Despite his grief, Mabil decided to stay with the team and play in their upcoming match against Nepal. He dedicated his performance to his late sister, scoring a goal in the match and helping Australia secure a 3-0 victory.
Arnold praised Mabil for his resilience and strength in the face of tragedy. “He’s an amazing kid. He’s got such strength, such courage, and such character. I just admire him so much,” Arnold said.
Mabil has spoken publicly about the impact his sister’s death has had on him, and how he plans to use his platform as a footballer to raise awareness about mental health and support others who are struggling.
The story of Awer Mabil and his sister’s tragic passing is a reminder of the power of sport to bring people together and provide a source of strength and resilience in difficult times. Mabil’s bravery and determination in the face of grief serve as an inspiration to us all.