BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – Banned Bahrain defender Sayed Mohamed Adnan has joined Australia's Brisbane Roar in a one-year deal.
Adnan, a Shiite Muslim, was one of several players not included in Bahrain's World Cup qualifying squad last week after being detained for taking part in protests against the Gulf nation's Sunni rulers this year.
''Everybody here respects each other and they want to be champions. I like that,'' Adnan said Tuesday of his signing with the A-League champions. The 28-year-old signed after training with the Roar squad for almost a month.
Adnan, the 2009 Asian Player of the Year runner-up, has made 79 appearances for Bahrain, scoring 13 goals.
His ban in Bahrain was part of a widespread government crackdown on dissent that resulted in the detention of journalists, bloggers, doctors, lawyers and activists.
More than 150 athletes, coaches and referees have been suspended since April for their alleged involvement in the protests.
''He's had an interesting journey,'' Roar coach Ange Postecoglou said. ''Having him training with us, I could tell he was a quality player. I think this will be a good move for us.''
Postecoglou said Adnan would provide a cool head as the Roar looked to extend their record 28-game unbeaten A-League run, while also juggling the Asian Champions League next season.
''His experience will obviously help us in Champions League and, because he has played so many internationals, he has a real composure about him,'' he said.
Adnan said he was happy to concentrate on the upcoming A-League.
''My job is to make our goal safe and we will try to get good results this season, better than last season,'' he said.