Qatar - The United Arab Emirates
embassy in London denied Wednesday reports that a British man was
arrested in the country for wearing a Qatar football shirt, saying he
was in fact held for wasting police time.
It said Ali Essa Ahmed,
described as a dual Sudanese-British citizen, last month reported to
police that "he had been harassed and beaten up by UAE national football
fans for cheering the Qatar team", at the Asian Cup finals.
The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut
all ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations that the energy-rich
state supports Islamic extremists.
The embassy said police took
Ahmed to hospital "where a doctor who examined him concluded that his
injuries were inconsistent with his account of events and appeared to be
As a result, on January 24, "Mr Ahmed was charged with wasting police time and making false statements", the embassy said.
are advised he has since admitted those offences and will now be
processed through the UAE courts," said a statement posted online.
said the British embassy in UAE had been contacted and "due process has
been followed", adding that Ahmed speaks Arabic "and fully understands
the situation he has put himself in".
"He was categorically not
arrested for wearing a Qatar football shirt. This is instead an instance
of a person seeking media attention and wasting police time."
Guardian newspaper reported that the man, named as Ali Issa Ahmad, 26,
had travelled to the UAE for a holiday and attended an Asian Cup match
between Qatar and Iraq on January 22, where he wore a Qatar shirt.
Foreign Office in London said: "We are providing assistance to a
British man arrested in the UAE, and are in touch with the local