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Bahraini goalie denies Qatar arrest claims

Humood Sultan pledges full allegiance to Bahrain, King

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Dubai: Bahrain’s best-known goalkeeper Humood Sultan has denied allegations posted on Qatari media that he had been arrested and sent to prison.

Qatari social media users said that Humood, who also served as a sports commentator for a Qatari television channel, was held by the Bahraini authorities after he praised Qatar during a television programme.

“The authorities rushed to arrest him and send him to prison,” the allegations said.

The claims were published by print media and were used to criticise Bahrain.

But Humood, who played for 24 years for Bahrain’s most crowned team Muharraq and for the national team, posted a video taken by one of his sons, showing him sitting relaxed on a floor sofa in the comfort of his home.

“I have heard about the allegations, but I assure you there is nothing wrong and everything is absolutely fine,” he said as he looked at the mobile camera. “Very importantly, this is my homeland, and no matter what happens it is my homeland. The king is our king, may God prolong his life. Everything is fine. I want to thank you all those who asked about me,” the 61-year-old Humood, who was voted Asia’s best goal-keeper in 1994, added as he waved smilingly to the camera.

Bahrain, alongside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, on June 5 severed their diplomatic relations with Qatar over support for extremists and funding of terrorism.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa has regularly stressed that there was no problem with the people of Qatar, but rather with the policies embraced by the Qatari government.

“There is not the slightest doubt that we and the Qataris are very close and no-one should be wrong about that,” he posted. “The problem is with the policy of Qatar that changes colours every day.”