Coronavirus travel restrictions and quarantine regulations have denied Socceroos midfielder Mustafa Amini the opportunity to farewell his father, who died on Monday night.
Denmark-based Amini will be unable to attend the funeral, compelled by circumstance to remain to grieve in Aarhus by the side of his partner Natalie and three-week-old baby daughter Vienna.
Amini’s father, Obaidullah, fled war-ravaged Afghanistan at the age of 19, meeting his future wife Zahra, a Nicaraguan refugee, at a Sydney immigration centre.
Now 26, Amini was born and raised in the Sydney suburb of Wentworthville and began his professional career with Central Coast Mariners before beginning his European odyssey almost a decade ago.
He is well known in his father’s homeland, with a large portion of his 115,000-plus Facebook followers from Afghanistan.
The Danish Super Liga shut down two weeks ago and Denmark was one of the first country’s to close its borders in response to the coronavirus catastrophe, with NSW now forcing citizens arriving home into two-week isolation in hotels.
Former Adelaide United coach Aurelio Vidmar faced a similar predicament two weeks ago, locked down in Singapore, where he coaches Lion City Sailors, and unable to attend mother Maria’s funeral.
Speaking before his dad passed away, Amini - AGF’s longest serving player - extolled the virtues of fatherhood with the country in lockdown mode.
“A positive side (of social isolation) is that I get to spend a lot of time with my daughter now that I’m at home so much and not training with my teammates,” he said.
“I’m getting even more of a chance to see her growing up - my teammates made a joke that I’m the first footballer to get maternity leave!”
Amini is off contract at the end of the season - and in the current climate of uncertainty might even have played his last game for the club.
“None of us know what’s going to happen in this world right now, so I’m just concentrating on staying healthy and looking after my family,” he added.
“When the time comes, and when football’s back on again, there’s plenty to look forward to. Who knows what will happen - I might stay I might not.
“It’s a stressful time across the football world with some clubs maybe even going broke and players taking salary cuts.
“I’m just trying to stay positive. We’re still getting paid here, and that’s good. Everything else is on hold.”