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
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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.


Irishman Shane Lowry wins see-saw Abu Dhabi battle over Richard Sterne

Updated 19 January 2019
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Irishman Shane Lowry wins see-saw Abu Dhabi battle over Richard Sterne

  • It was Lowry’s first win since the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational in August 2015
  • Lowry held his nerves on the back nine to make up a deficit of four shots after losing a three-shot advantage

ABU DHABI: Ireland’s Shane Lowry won a see-saw battle with Richard Sterne, needing a birdie on the last hole to win the $7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Saturday.
Lowry held his nerves on the back nine to make up a deficit of four shots after losing a three-shot advantage early in the final round.
He closed with a one-under par-71 round for a one-shot win over Sterne, who shot a final round of 69.
It was Lowry’s first win since the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational in August 2015 and he is expected to rise to number 40 in the world ranking from his current 75.
Netherland’s Joost Luiten made two eagles in his round — including a hole-out second shot on the par-four ninth hole — to shoot a 65 on a windy Abu Dhabi Golf Club course to finish solo third at 15-under 273, one better than South African Louis Oosthuizen (66).
World number two Brooks Koepka (70) finished tied ninth on 277, which meant that England’s Justin Rose will remain the world number one irrespective of his finish this week on the US PGA Tour’s Desert Classic.
“It was an emotional roller-coaster today. I obviously went out with the lead by a few and before I knew it, I was four behind. I was brave out there today. I grounded out well and I’m over the moon,” said Lowry, who received $1.16 million for his fourth European Tour title but the first in which he led wire-to-wire.
“People looking from the outside probably thought I was gone, but I holed a couple of great putts on 12 and 13 and I knew I was in it then.
“I said to my caddie walking down 16 that (if I got) three fours on the last three holes we could have a shout here.
He said he had talked in depth with his coach Neil Manchip before the tournament “about hanging in and staying in there no matter what I do and no matter what I shoot and what shots I hit.”
He added: “It definitely helped me out there today.”
Sterne was quick off the blocks and caught up with Lowry with birdies on his first three holes. The Irishman had also started with a birdie on the opening hole, but dropped a shot on the par-four third and found his three-shot advantage at the start of the day soon vanished.
Lowry regained the lead when he birdied his 10th par-three hole of the tournament on the fourth, but the South African chipped in for a birdie on the difficult par-four fifth hole playing into stiff headwind.
However, he did not enjoy the cushion for long and missed a par putt from a couple of feet on the sixth to tie again with Lowry on 17-under.
The tournament looked like becoming a two-horse race, with their closest rivals five shots behind at that stage, but the next two holes changed the equations completely.
Sterne birdied the par-five eighth hole to go one ahead. Lowry then hooked his tee shot straight into the water on the par-four ninth and wound up with a bogey, while Sterne made another impressive 15-foot birdie putt to go ahead by three at the turn.
The drama continued on the back nine. A bogey by Lowry on the 11th hole gave Sterne a four-shot advantage, but the burly Irishman bounced right back with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes.
Sterne then dropped shots on the 14th and 16th and the duo headed to the 18th hole tied on 17-under par.
Both found the fairway, but the South African pushed his second shot into the cart path on the right. He failed to get his up-and-down from there, while Lowry, on the green in two, two-putted for the decisive birdie.
“I’m just glad that I gave a good performance this week with a strong field. It’s been a while since I’ve had a decent tournament, so I’m pretty happy with the way I performed,” Sterne said.
The win takes Lowry to the top of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, while Sterne’s long wait for a title — his last was at the Joburg Open in February 2013 — goes on.