DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates embassy in London on Wednesday denied reports that a man was arrested for wearing a Qatar football shirt.

In a statement, it said, “We understand from the authorities in Sharjah that Ali Essa Ahmad, a dual Sudanese-British citizen, presented himself to the police station there in January claiming he had been harassed and beaten up by UAE national football fans for cheering the Qatar team at the AFC Club tournament. The police took him to hospital where a doctor who examined him concluded that his injuries were inconsistent with his account of events and appeared to be self-inflicted.”

It said, “On January 24, 2019, Ahmad was charged with wasting police time and making false statements. We are advised that he has since admitted those offences and will now be processed through the UAE courts.”

We are in touch with the UK embassy and due process has been followed. Ahmad 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,” said a UAE official.