UAE | Crime

Football riot case hits snag

Police waiting for doctor's testimony

  • By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 April 2, 2010
  • Gulf News

Dubai: Police will file a case of hooliganism against those involved in a riot that erupted in last Tuesday's match between a visiting Saudi Arabian football team and the Dubai-based Al Wasl Club only if the visitors' team doctor — whom witnesses said sparked the violence — agrees to submit himself to questioning.

In a televised interview with Al Arabiya, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, said both parties were at fault.

"The physician, according to eye witnesses, allegedly [made] an indecent gesture to Al Wasl fans to provoke them. Two [fans] were able to reach him, one succeeded in hitting the physician while the other attempted to but was stopped by the anti-riot unit of Dubai Police," he said.

Major General Mohammad Eid Al Mansouri, Director of Establishment Security and Emergency General Department of Dubai Police, told Gulf News that the doctor of the Al Nasr Club provoked the home crowd by making an indecent gesture during the match.

Immediate intervention

He said the anti-riot unit of Dubai Police intervened within two minutes to quell the riot. Police dogs were also utilised to help restore order.

The two fans who jumped over the fence and attacked the doctor were arrested and are under investigation.

The police however, could not refer the case for prosecution as the doctor has yet to submit himself for investigation.

"He didn't sustain any injuries. His shirt was ripped off... that's all. But we are going to open a case at Dubai Police. The case requires the presence of the second party for investigations to be completed and referred to the public prosecution," he said.

The senior officer also denied Saudi reports that the Dubai Police chief had ordered an investigation into the alleged negligence of responding police officers whom reports said allowed Al Wasl fans to return to their seats instead of driving them out of the stadium.

"Within just two minutes the police intervened and halted the [fight]. Those who were involved in the riot were pulled [out of] the venue and [were made to] sign an undertaking not to commit the offence again. The two [fans] who hit the physician were arrested," he said.

Al Wasl team won the match during the penalty shootout, which takes them to the next round against Al Qatar team.

Gulf News
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