Newcastle REVERSE decision to ban Arab headdresses as fans dress up

Howay the lads! Newcastle REVERSE decision to ban Arab headdresses as fans dress up again for first away match under new Saudi ownership

  • Supporters could be seen donning headdresses in draw at Selhurst Park
  • Club told fans to stop wearing the ‘traditional Arabic clothing’ earlier this week 
  • In a statement today, the club has made a U-turn on their advice to supporters

Newcastle United Football Club have reversed their decision to ban Arab headdresses as fans dress up again for the first away match under new Saudi ownership. 

The Magpies drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace today in an eventful game that saw Christian Benteke denied a late winner by VAR at Selhurst Park. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, Newcastle insisted the club’s new Saudi Arabian owners were not offended by what appears to have been a misguided tribute from fans, but asked them to refrain nevertheless.  

But in a second statement issued today, the club has made a U-turn on their advice to supporters. 

Newcastle fans have ignored the club’s plea to ditch Arab headdresses at their first away match under the new Saudi ownership

The statement said: ‘Newcastle United FC would like to clarify guidance issued on Wednesday October 20th regarding matchday attire.

‘The new owners have been overwhelmed by the welcome of the local community, following the acquisition of the club two weeks ago. 

‘The fans who have celebrated by wearing culturally traditional clothing, including head coverings, have been part of that welcome.

‘Those who wish to support the club by wearing appropriate culturally-inspired clothing should feel free to do so as they see fit. We are inclusive to all.

‘To reiterate what we said previously, neither the club nor its new owners were offended by attire worn, and appreciate the overt statements of support and acceptance by our great fans.

‘Newcastle United FC and its new owners continue to support the Premier League’s initiatives on diversity and inclusion, including No Room for Racism.

‘In closing, we thank the fans of Newcastle United FC for their incredible support.’

It comes after hundreds sported tea towels on their heads during Sunday’s defeat by Tottenham at St James’ Park.

Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday, the FA and Kick It Out were alarmed by the spectacle, with the equality and inclusion group contacting the club to express their concerns.  

The club’s Head of Inclusion was willing to meet supporters’ groups to explain why such dress could be deemed offensive.

‘Newcastle United is kindly asking supporters to refrain from wearing traditional Arabic clothing or Middle East-inspired head coverings at matches if they would not ordinarily wear such attire,’ the club said. 

‘A number of supporters have recently attended St James’ Park wearing associated head coverings and robes, marking the takeover by the Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports and Media.

‘No one among the new ownership group was in any way offended by the attire of the fans who chose to celebrate in this way. It was a gesture that was acknowledged as positive and welcoming in its intent. However, there remains the possibility that dressing this way is culturally inappropriate and risks causing offence to others.

‘All visitors to the club are encouraged to wear whatever is the norm for their own culture or religion, continuing to reflect the broad and rich multicultural communities and groups from which the club proudly draws its support.’  

Newcastle ask fans not to wear Arab-style clothing for matches in case it causes offence

Pictures of fans wearing the home-made head-dresses saw Kick It Out urge supporters to ditch the ‘culturally insensitive’ Saudi Arabia ‘fancy dress’ shortly after their 3-2 defeat by Tottenham.

Kick It Out spent Monday collating reports of anti-discriminatory behaviour from the weekend’s fixtures as they do every Monday, before contacting the club about the issue.

Sportsmail learned the equality and inclusion group are likely to offer education workshops in Newcastle to fans to explain how wearing tea towels in an attempt to impersonate Arabs could be considered racist, offensive, or culturally insensitive.

The sight of many members of the Toon Army wearing tea towels was particularly jarring as it took place at the Premier League’s No Room for Racism campaign, which will run over the next fortnight with fans being asked to challenge and report any incidents of discrimination. 

Magpies supporters have been making the gesture to celebrate the new Saudi-led ownership

A city centre pub also asked Newcastle fans not to dress in Arab-style clothing as they celebrate the club’s takeover.

The Bridge Tavern on Akenside Hill in Newcastle urged supporters to refrain from visiting the venue in attire ‘that might be considered as cultural appropriation.’ 

In a statement issued on its Instagram page, The Bridge Tavern said: ‘Whilst we understand that Newcastle fans are excited about the recent club takeover, we also ask that customers refrain from attending our bar in any attire that might be considered as cultural appropriation.

‘We welcome anyone in our lovely little boozer and would be devastated if anyone felt uncomfortable or disrespected.’ 

Source: Read Full Article