x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Hooliganism 'will be treated like other crimes in the UAE'

Dubai Public Prosecution says hooliganism is no different from any other crime, and that a sporting event does not provide immunity for those who behave badly.

DUBAI // Dubai Public Prosecution (DPP) has said that hooliganism is no different from other crimes and will be prosecuted and heard before a court of law and punished according to the UAE penal code.

The announcement came in Dubai Legal, a magazine issued by Public Prosecution. DPP called for spreading a legal culture among sports professionals and fans to avoid any cases that some refer to as "Sport or Stadium Crimes."

Yousif Khalifa bin Hammad, a lawyer and member of the Appeals Committee of the Federation of UAE Football, said crimes are not classified according to place of occurrence, and that the stadium does not provide immunity for athletes or fans.

However Mattar Al Tayer, vice president of Dubai Sports Council, said: "Sport crimes do not exist in the UAE and that what happens sometimes is rather a small disturbance."

The practice of sport is in constant need for law-abiding rules, said Mr Al Tayer, adding that good morals that reflect respect for the customs and traditions, rules and regulations of the UAE are also needed.

Mr Al Tayer said it is necessary to maintain a balance between competition, which usually generates enthusiasm and passion, and respect for the rules of the game and general laws of the country where it is taking place.