x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Sol Mokdad, president of Rugby League Commission, detained by Dubai Police

The UAE Rugby Federation announced on Thursday they had taken action against Mokdad for 'unauthorised representation' of the league code in the UAE.
Sol Mokdad. Pawan Singh / The National
Sol Mokdad. Pawan Singh / The National

The UAE Rugby Federation announced on Sunday they had taken action against Sol Mokdad, the president of the Rugby League Commission in the UAE, for the “unauthorised representation of the UAE sovereignty by illegally claiming the title of president” for the 13-man code in the country and “managing a sporting body which is not registered and therefore not recognised by the relevant government authority”.

The commission had been overseeing the Nissan Rugby League Cup.

Mokdad, according to the UAERF, has been detained by Dubai Police and that in the course of investigation it was also “discovered Mokdad has been living in the UAE illegally”.

The UAERF is the recognised National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport, in all its codes, in the Emirates, and the federation said it had warned Mokdad he was falsely representing the Government and the sport in the UAE through his representation of the Rugby League Commission.

“Mohammad Falaknaz is the only recognised and endorsed chairman of UAE Rugby, and the UAE Rugby Federation is the sole body recognised by the governing authority to represent all forms of the game in the UAE,” said federation secretary general Qais Al Dhalai in a release.

Last month Mokdad told The National he had been eager to resolve the issue “amicably” and had been seeking advice on how to proceed with the Rugby League International Federation.

“We are trying to get government recognition for our sport and hope to speak to the Sports Council,” he said.

On Sunday, though, Al Dhalai said, “I’m rather shocked that regional/international bodies ... have accepted an illegitimate individual membership who doesn’t even have citizenship of the UAE, nor a governmental license/decree that allows this individual to carry on any rugby activity within the UAE jurisdiction.”

Only Emiratis can hold a governmental position at any sporting NGB in the UAE.

“I even wonder on what basis did these bodies process and approve the UAE as an observer or affiliate member without even validating the integrity of the individual/s who claim presidency of UAE Rugby League or any other form of rugby,” said Al Dhalai.

The UAERF announcement made clear that no organisation, without being endorsed by the federation, could stage tournaments or competitions “played under and named ‘National’, ‘National Team’ or use the term ‘UAE’ or ‘Rugby’ in conjunction with any event or team playing domestically, regionally and internationally”.

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE