Soccer superstar Lionel Messi Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: An airport policeman has been jailed for a month for posting an image of Lionel Messi’s passport on Snapchat during the superstar footballer's visit to Dubai.

Barcelona legend Messi had just arrived at Dubai International Airport on December 27 to collect the Global Soccer Award’s best player award when the Emirati policeman, J.J., shot an image of the superstar’s passport and posted it on the social media network.

In Chamber 20 of the Dubai Misdemeanours Court on Monday morning, Presiding judge Rafat Abbas convicted the policeman of abusing the telecommunication system and using his iPhone6 to post the legendary footballer’s photo of his passport and uploading it on social media.

The defendant had pleaded guilty last week and admitted that he was wrong when he posted Messi’s passport details on social media.

He then asked for leniency.

The incident happened when the accused went to submit his sick leave before his colleague told him that Messi was about to arrive at the airport’s private jets section.

“I waited for Messi’s arrival to take a photo with him … but his private escorts informed me that the player was tired and would not be able to take a photo. Thereafter I walked to the passport control’s office where I saw Messi’s passport on a desk. I grabbed the passport and opened it to the page that contained Messi’s personal details and took video images with my iPhone via Snapchat,” said the defendant. 

Court records show the policeman posted the image on Snapchat and wrote a comment that read ‘This is Messi here in Dubai … what shall I do now? Burn his passport or let it go! Alas … I will let [it] go’.

Monday's ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.