ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi authorities on Wednesday dissolved the board of directors of Al-Ain football club after its players participated in a BMW commercial deemed disrespectful to the UAE's national anthem.
The German automaker advert shows the players singing the Emirati national anthem at the start of a game before they suddenly stop midway upon hearing the roar of the vehicle's engines and rush to the BMW cars parked outside the stadium.
Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council who is also first deputy chairman of Al Ain Sports and Cultural Club, dissolved the board of directors of both the club and the investment company which manages its assets, the official WAM news agency reported.
He formed an interim committee to run the club, it said.
The advert has sparked controversy on social media with many tweeters lashing out at the players and demanding the commercial be withdrawn.
Fares Awad, a sports commentator on Dubai TV wrote on Twitter that the advert is an "insult to the nation and its people by disrespecting its national anthem."
Gulf News daily reported on its website that the commercial, targeting the UAE market, was withdrawn.