The Prime Minister Of The UAE Played Football For Ireland?

sheikhmohammed

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE (and owner of the Kildangan Stud in Kildare), met members of the UAE football team back in January to congratulate them on winning the Gulf Cup for the 21st time.

The report of the meeting on gulfnews.com contains some curious quotes from the Sheikh regarding his football career. He says that he once played for Ireland against England in a friendly game.

Shaikh Mohammad told the team that they have to keep believing themselves and their abilities until they achieve their target and goals. “I used to play football, and I once played for the Irish team against England in a friendly game. I am an athlete and therefore I can relate to your joy in winning an important regional or international championship.”

And there appears to be photo from the game of Sheikh Mohammed wearing what looks a lot like an Ireland jersey from circa 1985.

Credit: Figo29.com

Credit: Figo29.com

That’s Paul McGrath playing for Ireland against Italy in 1985 in what looks like the same shirt.

Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

More than likely it was some sort of charity game.

Could anyone enlighten us a bit more?

H/T Eamonn Carey