UAE footballers will think twice about next trip to barbers after third player is fined this year for his haircut

Hassan Zahran is 1,000 dirhams worse off after being fined for his haircut. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018

UAE footballers will think twice about next trip to barbers after third player is fined this year for his haircut

LONDON: The crackdown on edgy haircuts in the UAE's Arabian Gulf League continued this week when another player was fined for his chosen style.
Ajman's Hassan Zahran was fined 1,000 dirhams ($272) by the UAE's FA disciplinary committee after it deemed the haircut breached their regulations on "unusual hairstyles and cuts or hair color."
"The disciplinary committee fines Ajman player Hassan Zahran 1,000 dirhams and issues him a disciplinary notice for his haircut," read an FA statement.
The Emirati defender is not the first player with a fancy hairdo to fall foul of the UAE FA's rulebook. Last month, Al-Ain’s Brazilian player Caio was fined the same amount for sporting an "unethical haircut" during a game. And that 

came a week after the federation punished Moroccan Murad Batna, of Al-Wahda, with a similar fine for exactly the same offense.
"This is getting ridiculous," tweeted Middle East football writer Shuaib Ahmed
The trio are not the first players to fall foul of the AGL’s strict rules on haircuts.
The highest profile case involved Ghana’s former Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan who was also found guilty of having “unethical hair” under UAE FA guidelines last year.
The 31-year-old Ghanian was one of 46 players found to have breached the rules on inappropriate hairstyles in a league where referees are responsible for deciding whether a player’s hairstyle is in keeping with the “country’s cultural norms.”

“These type of cuts with the side of the head shaved are not aligned with the country’s cultural norms," Ahmed told Arab News. "It came up last season and since then, the league committee have started taking it seriously.”
It happens in other Middle East countries too, such as Saudi Arabia. Back in 2012, Waleed Abdullah was told to cut his “un-Islamic” hair by the referee before being allowed on the pitch to play for his side Al-Shabab.

Premier League legend Ashley Cole announces retirement, plans move into coaching

Updated 18 min 39 sec ago

Premier League legend Ashley Cole announces retirement, plans move into coaching

LONDON: Former England defender Ashley Cole is planning a move into coaching after announcing his retirement from football.

Cole won 13 major titles during his 20-year career, including the 2012 Champions League with Chelsea, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.

The 38-year-old Cole, who also won 107 caps for England, announced his retirement Sunday while working as a pundit on British broadcaster Sky Sports.

"After hard thinking and consideration, it was obviously time to hang my boots up and look towards my next chapter, which will hopefully be coaching. I'm doing a course at the moment," Cole said. "Now I want to be great at being a coach."

Cole said he was most proud of his haul of England caps. Only Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Bobby Moore have made more appearances for the country.

Cole began his career with Arsenal and, after a brief loan spell at Crystal Palace, went on to make more than 200 appearances for the Gunners, lifting the FA Cup three times and winning the Premier League twice. He was a member of the "Invincibles" team which went through the 2003-04 Premier League season unbeaten.

He left the club in acrimonious circumstances in 2006 and was fined £100,000 ($121,500) — later reduced to £75,000 on appeal — for his part in an illegal approach from Chelsea in 2005, the club he would join the following year.

Cole won the FA Cup in his first season at Stamford Bridge and four times in total and also won the Premier League in 2010 and the Champions League in 2012, scoring in the penalty shootout as Chelsea beat Bayern Munich.

After leaving Chelsea in 2014, Cole had spells with Roma and LA Galaxy before ending his playing career under former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard at Derby in England's second tier.