UK & World News

  • 6 March 2013, 21:21

Nani Red Card: Man United Fan Dials 999

A football fan was so outraged with the referee's decision to send off Manchester United's Nani during a Champions League clash with Real Madrid, that he dialled 999.

The 18-year-old Manchester United supporter was watching the second-leg tie at Old Trafford from his home in a village near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, at around 9.20pm on Tuesday when he made the call.

He felt the moment the Reds' Portuguese midfielder was controversially shown the red card by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir for a high challenge on Real's Alvaro Arbeloa was a crime and called police.

The fan later apologised for his actions, claiming to have been caught up in the excitement.

United, who were leading 1-0 at the time of the dismissal, were reduced to 10 men and went on to lose the tie 2-1 and exited the competition 3-2 on aggregate.

Police are now urging Nottinghamshire residents to think before they dial.

There were 6,933 recorded hoax calls to Nottinghamshire Police in 2012, with calls increasing during holiday periods, particularly in August. This amounted to around 2% of all reported incidents.

Control Room Chief Inspector Ted Antill said: "While this recent example may be amusing, it illustrates the sort of insincere calls we have to deal with on a daily basis in the control room.

"They waste our time and they direct us away from genuine victims of crime, particularly if we dispatch officers out to something that turns out to be a bogus report.

"I would ask people to think before picking up the phone for emergency services. I would also advise parents to ensure your children are aware that prank calls and the reporting of made-up crimes is a crime in itself.

"There may be people out there in real trouble who need our help and they have to wait because we are tied up with calls like this one, reporting a referee from the television.

"It's no joke. In this case, the man realised his bad judgement and apologised and we decided not to pursue it further - but we can and we do prosecute people for wasting police time and making false reports."

Advertisement