x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Sheikh pays footballer's debts

The chairman of the UAE Olympic Committee paid the debts of an imprisoned former member of the Al Wasl Football Club.

A football star who played for the UAE in the 1990 World Cup has been freed from prison after the chairman of the UAE Olympic Committee paid his debts.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed paid off more than Dh2.6 million owed by Adel Anas.

Mr Anas, who also played for Al Wasl club in Dubai, partnered with two companies to supplement his income after he retired from football. He was imprisoned less than a year ago for non-payment of debts.

Ahmed Khalifa, chief media officer at Al Wasl, said Mr Anas, who retired from professional football more than 15 years ago, was a star player.

"During his day, Mr Anas was very good. He was one of the distinct goalkeepers," he said. Mr Anas played for Al Wasl in the 1980s and 1990s.

Through the media, Mr Anas had sought help with his debts.

Over the years, many UAE football players have shown gratitude to the sheikhs for their help, and in particular for not forgetting them.

"I very much appreciate that football and football players are recognised and are not forgotten about," Mohammed Hamad, 24, of Al Ain, said. "This shows not only the love the sheikhs have for the country's people, but also that they recognise sport stars."

Mr Anas will be featured in this week's Dorena show on Dubai Sports TV.