Graham Arnold opens up about shattering moment he had to tell Awer Mabil that his sister had died
Graham Arnold opens up about the shattering moment he had to tell Awer Mabil that his sister had died after the Socceroos star had an eerie premonition
- Graham Arnold was the bearer of shocking news
- Had to tell Awer Mabil his sister had died in a car accident
- Tragedy unfolded during the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE
- Arnold said it was ‘one of the saddest moments of his life’
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has recalled the heartbreaking moment he had to inform Awer Mabil his sister had died in a car accident, labelling it ‘one of the saddest moments of his life’.
The tragedy unfolded when Australia were playing in the 2019 Asian Cup out of the United Arab Emirates.
Arnold’s men were stunned 1-0 by the hosts in the quarter-finals – but far worse news was to follow.
Mabil also had an eerie on-field premonition that something tragic had unfolded back home in Australia.
‘He was looking up at the stars, looking up at the sky,’ Arnold recalled.
‘He said, ‘Arnie, something’s happened, something’s not quite right’.’
Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has recalled the heartbreaking moment he had to inform Awer Mabil his sister had died in a car accident back in 2019
Mabil also had an eerie premonition something tragic had unfolded back home in Australia (pictured, playing the UAE in the 2019 Asian Cup hours before his sister died)
Once Arnold returned to the team hotel, he received a call from Football Australia which filled him with dread – Mabil’s sister Bor – aged just 19 – had tragically been killed in a car accident in Adelaide.
It was then Arnold’s job to pass on the life-shattering news.
‘I knocked on the door, he opened the door. I said, ‘Awer, how are you mate? Are you OK?’,’ he told a Fox Sports podcast.
‘He just looked at me and said, ‘I’m p***ed off because we lost.’ I said, ‘OK, well, we can get over that’.
‘I just grabbed him, gave him a hug and told him his sister had just been killed in a car accident. He fell to the ground.
‘Then it was a matter of staying with him in his room for 12 hours. It was really, really tough.’
Awer Mabil’s sister Bor (pictured) was killed when a car hit her during an illegal street race on Australia Day 2019
In 2020, Akol Akol pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in relation to the fatal crash the previous Australia Day in Adelaide.
At the time, Akol was intoxicated behind the wheel and also driving while disqualified.
In January, Mabil, 27, who is currently on loan at Sparta Prague in the Czech Republic, was crowned Young Australian of the Year.
He grew up in a hut in Kenya before his family moved to Australia as refugees in 2005.