x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Football field injury led to police questioning for Abu Dhabi schoolboy

A school in the capital is keen to lay to rest rumours circulating since police were called in by the parents of a child injured during football trials.

A school boy from the Al Yasmina school near Raha Gardens in Abu Dhabi was questioned by police after a football field incident. Amy Leang / The National
A school boy from the Al Yasmina school near Raha Gardens in Abu Dhabi was questioned by police after a football field incident. Amy Leang / The National

DUBAI // A school in the capital is keen to lay to rest rumours circulating since police were called in by the parents of a child injured during football trials.

The incident happened at Al Yasmina, a British curriculum school in Abu Dhabi, on January 8. There was a collision between an Emirati and a British pupil, both 11, and the Emirati was examined by a teacher trained in first aid before going home.

His parents reported the matter to the police the following morning, and officers visited the school and took the British boy to a police station.

But the Emirati family later dropped the case, according to a spokesman for Aldar Academies, which owns the school.

The incident has sparked much speculation. There were claims the British boy had been kept in a cell overnight and that the matter had been hushed up, but these were categorically denied by the spokesman.

"To confirm, there was an incident early last month during a football match at Al Yasmina in which an Emirati child was hurt in a tackle by an English boy as part of a run of play," he said.

"The parents were naturally upset and involved the police, but dropped the case later in the day after discussions with the school and the English boy's parents and have pursued no further action.

"The parents of the injured child have enrolled two other children into the school since."

The British boy's mother works at the school and is understood to have been with her son when he was at the police station.

The spokesman said two parents' evenings were held to explain the situation, and school head Darren Gale sent two letters about the incident to parents.

In the second letter, dated February 13, Mr Gale said: "I can relay that both children and parents are well and the matter has been finalised and closed."

He said the school had reviewed its procedures for dealing with accidents. "I am reassured, and reassure parents that the systems and processes we have in school are robust."

Al Yasmina is introducing a code of conduct and consent form for sport that will come into effect on Sunday when the pupils return after the mid-term break.

The code requires teachers and coaches to "insist on fair play, and never to tolerate gloating, foul play, fighting or foul language".

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy said the mission had a long-standing policy of not commenting on matters involving minors.

csimpson@thenational.ae