Sol Mokdad released from jail in UAE

Sol Mokdad, the former administrator of rugby league in the United Arab Emirates, has been released from jail in Dubai, but is set to be deported from the country.

He was released on bail on Tuesday evening, but is not allowed to speak publicly about his situation.

UAE newspaper The Nation reports that it is believed he plans to sign a document agreeing to conditions set out by the UAERF (the rugby union body in the UAE) for them to drop the case.

It also reports that Mokdad plans to relocate, possibly to the UK. He was arrested a fortnight ago when he was at a sports function at the Sofitel Hotel in Dubai.

His crime was to have organised a rugby league competition without asking the rugby union bodies first.

He claimed the role of president of the Rugby League Commission, a position which can apparently be held only by a citizen of the UAE.

As a result, he was charged with “unauthorised representation of the UAE sovereignty”.

In a statement this week, the UAERF confirmed it had agreed to withdraw the case against the Lebanese national, upon three conditions.

Put simply, the stipulations were that he is “no longer involved with overseeing or managing the code of league under UAE jurisdiction”.

Neither is Mokdad permitted to organise any code of rugby without gaining written approval from the UAERF.

Whilst investigations were taking place, it was also discovered that his visa in the UAE had expired.

He has paid a fine to resolve that issue, but is still waiting for resolution of the rugby-related cases.

He and his lawyers have yet to be presented with the letter documenting the terms to which he must agree.

During his two-week stay in prison, the rugby union body the UAERF set up a new committee to oversee league.

The competition which had been taking place in the country will not now go ahead, however, after Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Xodus Wasps pulled out due to the uncertain nature of the situation.

The RLIF and RLEF have been working hard to try and explain to the various sporting bodies in the UAE that rugby league is a separate sport with its own heritage, traditions and culture, going back 120 years.

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