'A British football fan could face 15 years in prison or a £100,000 fine after he was held in the United Arab Emirates for wearing a Qatar shirt to a football match.
Arsenal supporter Ali Issa Ahmad, 26, was on holiday in Abu Dhabi when he was given a ticket to an Asian Cup match between Qatar and Iraq.
The UAE, who were the tournament hosts, has been embroiled in a furious diplomatic row with Doha after joining a Saudi-led blockade of the country in 2017.
As a result anyone caught wearing the country's maroon shirt in public can be fined or imprisoned, with the pressure group Detained in Dubai warning the sentence could be as severe as 15 years in jail.
Following his arrest last week Ahmad, from Wolverhampton, was detained in Sharjah in the UAE.
He was allowed to phone his friend, Amer Lokie, who said: 'This is just unspeakable.
'He just went to watch a football match while he was on holiday in UAE and says he was arrested and beaten after being accused of wearing a football shirt which promoted Qatar.
'When he managed to call me officials were sitting next to him so he couldn't say too much. He wasn't given very long to speak to me and I'm not exactly sure what happened.
'It seems that he was released after being detained, assaulted by security men in the car and accused of promoting Qatar. He went to the police station to report the assault and was accused of telling lies about the incident.
'We're not clear about exactly what happened next but he has been held because he is accused of making false allegations against UAE security officials.'
Lokie told The Guardian that his friend sounded scared after his iPhone had been taken off him and he'd been held for two days.'
Read more: British soccer fan is held in UAE for wearing a Qatar shirt to an Asian Cup match – and 'faces 15 YEARS in prison or £100,000 fine'
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