UAE footballer accused of posting offensive tweets against his club
Abu Dhabi - He also plays for the UAE national team.
A professional UAE footballer stood trial in an Abu Dhabi court for posting offensive tweets, accusing his football club of forgery.
The Emirati, who is also a UAE national team player, allegedly made the abusive comments on his Twitter account after the management of the Abu Dhabi-based club reportedly wanted to fine him millions of dirhams for breaching his contract, including missing training sessions.
The Abu Dhabi Misdeamenour Court heard that the footballer falsely accused the club management of 'forgery'.
The management said the messages posted on Twitter were offensive, undermining and damaging to the reputation of the club.
In a tweet, the accused had said: "You guys know that the management forging the contract is not the proper way. Ronaldo and Messi are not paying 10 million in fines for missing out on training ... Sorry, but I'm taking it to the police to prove its authenticity."
Prosecutors charged the footballer with defamation and violating cyberlaw. However, the accused denied the charges against him.
During a hearing on Wednesday, defence lawyer Haaji Al Balushi asked the court to make the club present the original contract signed by the club management and the footballer, which the player was challenging in the alleged tweets to have been altered, so that the court can establish the truth.
"If the original contract document is found to be intact, with no changes made to it, then my client will be responsible for defaming the club. But if the document is proved to have been altered and have some forgery, then my client is innocent," said the lawyer.
"My client is a professional footballer playing for a well-known football club. He is also playing for the UAE national team.
"There is an abiding contract between the player and the football club, which regulates the relationship between the two parties and sets out the mutual obligations between them."
The lawyer added that there were some disagreements between the player and the club in implementing some of the terms in the contract - particularly the financial entitlements of the player. This made the player to miss out some of the training sessions because the two parties had apparently not resolved the problem which also required intervention from the body governing football in the country, according to the lawyer.
Al Balushi added that his client was later shocked when the club presented to him a copy of the contract and said that he had breached its terms.
According to the lawyer, the contract presented to his client was not the original one signed by the player. "That's why my client came forward to challenge it. He didn't see or sign the contract which said, violating the terms would result the player not being a member of the club and he was supposed to pay Dh10 million to the club. The trial was adjourned to a future date.