An English fan who partied with lions and Qatari sheikhs on a crazy night out has had his story confirmed… by his mum.
Alex Sullivan, 23, claimed he was invited back to a palace by a “sheikh’s son” whom he met just hours after arriving in Qatar with his father, Thomas, 63, and his boyfriend.
The Everton fan then shared photos online of him exploring the huge palatial building, as he encountered exotic birds, lion cubs and monkeys at the mansion.
He also shared a video of himself playing with a lion cub in this host’s private zoo.
But that didn’t stop people from doubting his big story online, and his mom stood by her son and said he wasn’t lying.
His mother, Sheena, 55, insisted he had actually met two friendly locals who were members of Qatar’s ruling royal family.
MORE: ‘The World Cup shouldn’t be here’ – Roy Keane blasts Qatar and FIFA
MORE: World Cup 2022 Live: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia as Lionel Messi kicks off his tournament
MORE: Wayne Rooney reacts to England’s fantastic World Cup victory over Iran
Speaking from her family home in Birkenhead, Merseyside, she told the MailOnline that Alex had sent her videos and photos of her ‘amazing’ evening with friend John Robinson.
She clarified that he had been with a ‘couple of sheikh cousins’ rather than a ‘sheikh’s son’ and claimed he only drank tea and coffee at the palace instead. some beer.
Sheena said, “Just two days into the trip, they’re already ready to jink.
“I was unable to speak to them directly due to very poor mobile reception, but they sent videos and photos on WhatsApp.
“They say the atmosphere is amazing and the Qataris are fantastic.
“They told me they had met two cousins of the sheikh and I saw a lot of people didn’t believe it, but it’s true.”
Alex flew to Qatar from Manchester on Saturday with his father and friend John.
Sheena said the three Everton season ticket holders had been saving for years to fund the trip.
She told how her son had never handled exotic animals before and was only used to petting his family’s Bichon Frize dog called Rosie.
MORE: Gary Neville aims to dig King Charles as World Cup pundit defends Qatari cash grab
MORE: Frank Lampard wanted to sign Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham at Chelsea
MORE: Why is the World Cup stadium called Stade 974 and why is it made of containers?
She added: “I was shocked to see them posing with the lion cub.
“They may have been looking for beer, but they only drank tea and coffee at the menagerie.”
Sheena continued: “They are Everton fans and they each have four shirts with the Everton and England badge.
“They always wanted to go to the World Cup. They have tickets to all of England’s group games and they hope to see England go all the way and win the final.
They are due to return home on December 20.
Digital marketer Alex, who currently sports a mustache for Movember, told how he and John ended up at the palace after going on a ‘beer hunt’ on Saturday.
The couple said they met two Qatari men they named Nawaf and Abdul-Aziz, who invited them back for a “rogue” at their house.
Alex said: “We were looking for beers and they said, ‘We’re going to sort the beers’, so we jumped into the back of his Toyota Land Cruiser and ended up in a big palace.
“We were in the back and he showed us monkeys, his exotic birds, it was crazy.”
John added: ‘Last night we met one of the sheikh’s sons and he took us back to the palace and he showed us he had lions and everything.
“They made us so welcome and look around, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Twitter users were quick to doubt the couple’s story, prompting Alex to post Snapchat videos of them meeting.
It comes after England beat Iran 6-2 in their opener yesterday, thanks to goals from Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish.
They will now face the United States on Friday before taking on Wales in their final group game next week.
Contact our press team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check out our news page.