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Feb 17, 2010

Arrest warrant issued for Pompey chairman

Dubai authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Portsmouth chairman Sulaiman al-Fahim over an alleged unpaid debt of £1.3 million.

The former Pompey owner, who remains a 10% shareholder at the cash-strapped Premier League club, is wanted in court to settle a dispute with a fellow property developer and will be arrested if he returns to the United Arab Emirates.

An investor from Azerbaijan has demanded to be repaid after a development by Al-Fahim's Al Buraq Development and Investment company failed to go ahead.

According to Abu Dhabi newspaper The National, court documents show Al-Fahim has cleared his assets in the UAE and transferred all his local funds to undisclosed overseas locations.

Al-Fahim told The National: "I am not running away from this, I am in Moscow and am actually here as part of an official UAE delegation promoting the chess industry. My lawyers are currently handling the matter and I am positive it will be resolved very soon.

"First let's be clear this is actually a civil case and not a criminal case, and one that has been running for some time."

Al-Fahim bought Pompey from Sacha Gaydamak in August last year but sold the club just 42 days later after failing to raise the necessary investment to meet debt repayments and pay player wages.

Ali Al-Faraj then bought the ailing club form Al-Fahim and has since handed control Balram Chainrai after failing to meet the terms of a loan agreement with the Hong Kong investor.

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