An India football fan who raised a sign that read "my nationality is Indian, but my heart is Emirati" during an Asian Cup match against the UAE last week has been commended by the head of the sports authority.
Maj Gen Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the General Authority for Sports and Vice President of the Supreme Organising Committee of the AFC Asian Cup 2019, met with Indian spectator Razzaq Osan Konath to congratulate him for his "sportsmanship, civilised cheering and love for the UAE".
India lost to the UAE by two goals on Thursday when they met during the group stages of the cup at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Sports City Stadium.
The two men met on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council headquarters, and Maj Gen Al Rumaithi presented Mr Konath with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council shield in appreciation of his love for the country’s national team during the cup.
Maj Gen Al Rumaithi said that his behaviour reflects "the image of a nation of tolerance, as well as the UAE’s stature in the hearts of all nationalities who coexist on the land of the late Sheikh Zayed in love and peace".
This year is the Year of Tolerance, providing the foundation of a cohesive society that is open to people of different cultural backgrounds and religions.