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.


Even Mohamed Salah can't stop Egypt from spiralling out of World Cup

Updated 20 June 2018
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Even Mohamed Salah can't stop Egypt from spiralling out of World Cup

  • Liverpool star is now fit but game against Saudi Arabia will be a dead rubber
  • Question marks over future of coach Hector Cuper

ST PETERSBURG: Egypt coach Hector Cuper admitted that Monday’s final Group A game in the 2018 World Cup against Saudi Arabia is almost certain to be a matter of regional pride and not much else.
The North Africans sank to a second consecutive defeat on Tuesday, losing 3-1 to hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg. Following a painful last-minute loss to Uruguay in the opening game, it leaves Egypt stuck on zero points and facing early elimination.
Now the focus is on the all-Arabian clash against their regional rivals in Volgograd.
“We still have a game to play against Saudi Arabia and we will give our all in that game but our chances (of going to the second round) are minimal,” Cuper said. “It is important we perform well in that game and get the right result.”
The Spaniard has faced questions from the Egyptian media as to whether he will still be in the hotseat after a disappointing time in Russia. He intends to see out the tournament.
“I hope to continue as coach but that is a decision that does not depend on me. If those responsible want to me leave then that is what I will do.”
Mistakes at crucial times in the two games have cost Egypt. After losing 1-0 to Uruguay, the Pharaohs were solid against Russia, who had defeated Saudi Arabia 5-0 five days previously in Group A, in the first half.
Three goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half virtually ended Egypt’s World Cup.
Cuper was happy with the team’s defensive performance in the first half but was left to lament the first period after the restart.
“The game lasted 94 minutes and we had a very bad 15 minutes early in the second half and that is why we lost,” said the Argentine. “It wasn’t a lack of concentration but we did make mistakes. We lacked a little luck to get the ball into the net. I am happy with what we have done but you have to make the most of your goalscoring opportunities.”
Saudi Arabia will have to deal with a fully fit Mohamed Salah.
The Liverpool forward, who scored 44 goals in the 2017-18 season for Liverpool, scored Egypt’s only goal in his first appearance since sustaining an injury against Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League final in late May.
“Of course, we would have preferred if he had not been injured but it would have been especially good if he had been able to train with the team for the three weeks we had at the same intensity as the other players. We missed that."
Cuper said Salah is desperate to play as much as possible in the World Cup. “I was told by the medical staff that the player was good and felt good. It may have been different if he had been fit for the World Cup but we will never know.
“We have played well mostly, apart from short periods when we have made mistakes The players have given everything and I can’t complain about their effort and this has been a great experience for them. There is still a game to go however and that is now what we have to think about.”