A video purportedly showing a man locking up supporters of the Indian football team in a bird cage ahead of a crucial match with the United Arab Emirates at the AFC Asian Cup on Thursday has gone viral, leading to his arrest, media reports said on Friday.
The UAE’s Attorney General office released a statement saying the man was detained by the police, the Khaleej Times reported.
“The video allegedly shows a man who locked up several men of Asian nationality in a bird cage. They were supposed to cheer for the UAE national team in their match against India in the AFC Asian Cup,” the UAE’s Attorney General office said in a statement.
“Legal action was taken, with reports submitted to the prosecutor’s office. A warrant was issued for the man who made the video, and he was detained and brought in for questioning.
“Not only is the act a criminal offence punishable by law in the UAE, it does not reflect the values of tolerance and respect. Discrimination is not acceptable, as we believe in equality of opportunity and meritocracy,” the statement further added.
In the UAE, penalties for violation of the various provisions of the law include jail terms from six months to over 10 years, and fines from $13,611 to $5,44,000, the report said.
India played UAE on Thursday in the AFC Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi but lost 0-2.
The clip showed several workers standing behind a fence. When asked who they support, they say India. He tells them that’s not good, they live in the UAE and should support this country. He asks them again and this time, they say they support UAE and he lets them out.
Now, a new video on same YouTube account is saying that the video was meant to be a joke and the men work for him.
“These men are my workers, one of whom I’ve known for 22 years. I live with my men on this farm, we eat from the same plate. I did not beat them, nor did I truly lock them up,” he said. “This is the Year of Tolerance. Please understand my intentions.”
(With PTI inputs)