Footballer jailed for three months after criticising national coach

The UAE international Abdullah Qassem has been jailed for three months after insulting his national team manager Mahdi Ali in a video, according to local media.

The 29-year-old, who plays for Al-Dhafra in the UAE Arabian Gulf League, had made indecent gestures and criticised Ali after the manager had not included him in the team, The National newspaper reported on Monday.

Qassem, along with a second unnamed Al-Dhafra player who filmed the rant, were given the three-month sentences by the Abu Dhabi Court of Misdemeanours, the paper said.

The duo were found guilty of using telecommunications services to offend and hurt the feelings of others, and displaying a recording that breached public ethics through the internet.

Both players had already been suspended by their club but Qassem’s lawyer had argued the video was published without his client’s consent and that he was a victim in the crime. He also said Ali had not wished to press charges against Qassem.