Another one that didn’t read the small print
As serial pitch invader Mario “The Falcon” Ferri awaits trial in Abu Dhabi, he no doubt wishes he’d done a bit of research on the UAE.
December 27, 2010 2:23 by shafeer
They call him “The Falcon.” Mario Ferri, a 23-year-old from Italy, is a serial football pitch invader. He has become a hero to the Italian soccer world, apparently, as this year he has managed to bypass stewards to run onto pitches in three different continents. While the national team has floundered and top clubs have struggled, Ferri has kept footballing passions alive.
Unfortunately, The Falcon is now a bird in captivity. He ran onto the pitch in the Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi, dressed in his customary Superman T-shirt with “Free Sakineh” written on it (Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning). Obviously, he was arrested, and his passport is in the hands of the police as he awaits trial. Ridiculously, he seems to have tried to escape the country in the hold of a cruise ship, but managed to foil himself by announcing the plan on Facebook. He was, unsurprisingly, re-arrested.
Apparently, Ferri has been surprised at the toughness of Gulf justice. “I have been told that they arrest you here for driving through a red light. I didn’t know that before coming out here,” he reportedly said before his escape attempt.
Kipp has lost count of the number of times it has heard that lament. People would be well advised to do their research before traveling to more conservative countries than their own, particularly if they are planning to do something illegal while they’re there. It would be the smart move.
Then again, Ferri did announce his elaborate escape plans on Facebook, so perhaps he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, if you know what we mean.