A policeman is facing six months in jail after allegedly recording a video of himself with Lionel Messi's passport, which was then posted on social media.
The alleged incident took place in Dubai in December while Messi was visiting for the Globe Soccer Awards to collect the prize for Best Player of the Year.
It's claimed that the United Arab Emirates airport officer requested a photo with the Barcelona player, but was denied because Messi was too tired. The officer then walked through the passport control office only to find the Argentinian's passport, at which point he filmed himself with the document. The video was then uploaded to Snapchat with the message: "This is Messi here in Dubai... what shall I do now? Burn his passport or let it go! Alas... I will let it go."
The officer has been quoted by Gulf News explaining the course of events which could see him incarcerated for six months and fined nearly £100,000.
“I waited for Messi’s arrival to take a photo with him, but his private escorts informed me that the player was tired and would not be able to take a photo.
"Thereafter I walked to the passport control’s office where I saw Messi’s passport on a desk. I grabbed the passport and opened it to the page that contained Messi’s personal details and took video images with my iPhone via Snapchat."
Gulf News report that the officer appeared in Dubai's Court of Misdemeanours on a charge of violating Messi's privacy, to which he pleaded guilty but asked for leniency.
A ruling is expected next week.Reuse content