A video showing Saudi officials forcing a soccer player to have an impromptu haircut in the middle of a game has gone viral.
AFP reports Waleed Abdullah, a goalkeeper for Al Shabab and Saudi Arabia’s national team, was taken off the pitch for a few minutes to have his mohawk shaved off because it violated Saudi Football Federation’s guidelines.
The baffled player can be seen protesting the move in the beginning but he gives in eventually.
Although footage of the bizarre haircut has just taken the internet by storm, a Jordan-based news blogging and media website claims the incident is from 2012.
“Abdullah's haircut was deemed to have violated an Islamic hadith on haircuts that display 'al-Qiza,' a style of haircut where part of the hair is shaved and other parts remain long,” states Al-Bawaba.
The Gulf kingdom follows Wahhabism, a strict form of Sunni Islam, according to which all citizens, irrespective of their genders, are subject to strict codes of conduct in everyday life — though women face far more restrictions than men with rules like not allowing them to drive.
In some instances, such as the soccer haircut, the application of religious law is way too extreme. Case in point: In February, a man was arrested in Saudi Arabia wearing a cartoon costume of a woman showing skin.