A teenage football supporter who rang 999 to complain about the referee during Manchester United's defeat by Real Madrid has apologised to police.
The 18-year-old United fan, who watched the Champions League match on TV, was so disgusted by Turkish referee Cüneyt Çakır's decision to send off United star Nani that he contacted emergency operators to claim a "crime" had occurred.
The armchair fan, who has not been named, rang 999 at around 9.20pm last night from his home in a village near Bingham, Nottinghamshire.
Chief Inspector Ted Antill, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "While this recent example may be amusing, it illustrates the sort of insincere calls we have to deal with on a daily basis in the control room.
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"They waste our time and they direct us away from genuine victims of crime, particularly if we dispatch officers out to something that turns out to be a bogus report.
"I would ask people to think before picking up the phone for emergency services. I would also advise parents to ensure your children are aware that prank calls and the reporting of made-up crimes is a crime in itself."
The officer added: "There may be people out there in real trouble who need our help and they have to wait because we are tied up with calls like this one, reporting a referee from the television.
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"In this case, the man realised his bad judgment and apologised and we decided not to pursue it further."
Çakır's decision proved to be pivotal as Madrid rallied from 1-0 down to defeat United 2-1 and prevail 3-2 on aggregate.