Pompey fans apologise after 'attack' on Al Fahim

Former Portsmouth FC owner Sulaiman Al Fahim vows to continue supporting club despite incident
Pompey fans apologise after 'attack' on Al Fahim
Sulaiman Al Fahim.
By Anil Bhoyrul
Sun 03 Apr 2011 09:52 PM

Former Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al Fahim has vowed to continue supporting the club, despite being attacked by a number of fans following the team’s away match at Reading on Saturday.

It is understood that Al Fahim, who took over the club in July 2009 before selling it later the same year, became involved in a dispute with a section of Portsmouth fans during the match.

UAE businessman Al Fahim was then chased by a group of fans outside the stadium, with a number making contact with him briefly, before police and stadium security staff intervened.

Speaking to Arabian Business, one fan who witnessed the incident said: “Some of them were chanting things during the match which suggested he had taken money out of the club.

"He was clearly unhappy at this and came over to a section of fans to explain that he had actually put $10m of his own money into the club.

"However they didn’t really want to listen so he decided to leave the match before the end. Unfortunately a group of them followed him out of the ground and tried to throw punches, but luckily the police and security staff got him out just in time.”

On Sunday, a number of Porstmouth fans contacted Al Fahim to express outrage at the incident, and the former owner met with a supporters group at a London hotel, where they are understood to have apologised for the incident.

One fan, James Thorne, emailed Arabian Business saying: “Please can you pass on apologies to him from myself and other like-minded Pompey fans for the behaviour of a small minority of 'fans' at the match he attended in Reading yesterday."

The email added: "The vast majority of fans would not like to be associated with these actions and we welcome Mr Al Fahim's continued involvement at the club as a fellow supporter.”

Speaking to Arabian Business on Sunday night, Al Fahim confirmed the incident but said it would not diminish his support for Portsmouth:

“My heart is in this club, not just because I invested money into it but because I genuinely adore the club and its traditions and fans. Obviously what happened is upsetting and was unpleasant, but the vast majority of the fans have always been very warm towards me, so I’m not going to let one incident change that,” he said.

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