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HomeSportNewcastle ask fans to avoid ‘Arabic or Middle-East-inspired clothes’ to curb ‘risk of causing offence, cultural inappropriateness’

Newcastle ask fans to avoid ‘Arabic or Middle-East-inspired clothes’ to curb ‘risk of causing offence, cultural inappropriateness’

Newcastle ask fans to avoid ‘Arabic or Middle-East-inspired clothes’ to curb ‘risk of causing offence, cultural inappropriateness’

Saudi-owned Newcastle have left many fans baffled after formally requesting that their supporters refrain from a repeat of “wearing traditional Arabic clothing or Middle East-inspired head coverings at matches.”

The club guidance, which comes three days after fans were seen wearing clothing more readily associated with Saudi Arabia than the north-east of England before a match, arrives in the aftermath of reports that equality group Kick it Out wanted to offer education workshops to supporters who donned the items.

That 3-2 Premier League defeat at home to Spurs on Sunday was the first under the Saudi-led consortium that has bought an 80% stake in the club in a deal worth $420 million, and the Magpies have specified that the announcement should be followed if fans “would not ordinarily wear such attire”.

“The club 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,” read the wording.

#NUFC 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.

— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) October 20, 2021

“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.

“However, there remains the possibility that dressing this way is culturally inappropriate and risks causing offence to others.”

A longer version of the statement produced beyond social media said: “All visitors to the club are, as always, encouraged to wear whatever is the norm for their own culture or religion, continuing to reflect the broad and rich multi-cultural communities and groups from which the club proudly draws its support.

Kick it Out had been said to be seeking “urgent talks” with the club around issues of cultural offensiveness and stereotypes.

Very Very disappointing!

Of course the owners weren’t offended!! And we the people of #KSA are not offended nor do we find it culturally inappropriate at all!!

So a question arises, “risk causing offense to others” who are these “others” if not the Saudis?! 🧐

— Almohannad | المُهنّد الهَشْبُول (@almohannad_ali) October 20, 2021

I’m a saudi and I was supppper happy when I saw Newcastle fans wearing our clothes it’s so awesome that’s two cultures gets closer and so far I dont know any saudi who felt offended by this it’s just a way of welcoming us and celebrating our cooperation so dont worry lads hooway pic.twitter.com/jWvXxhjCTK

— عبدالإله جابر 🇸🇦 (@AbdulelahJaber1) October 20, 2021

Reacting to the news, a well-followed Saudi Newcastle fan said that it was “very, very disappointing”.

“Of course the owners weren’t offended. And we the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not offended, nor do we find it culturally inappropriate at all.

“So a question arises, ‘risk causing offense to others’. Who are these ‘others’ if not the Saudis?”

It *might* cause offence, not has. Everything now is prohibited incase it upsets just one person. If they were dressing to mock Saudi people then fair enough but it was a tribute and celebration.

— Kev (@kev__1986) October 20, 2021

Not one of the Saudis I spoke with have been offended by this, so why are people in the UK being offended on their behalf? @YazanofArabia thoughts on this mate?

— Dell 💦 #Cans (@agbnufc_) October 20, 2021

“It ‘might’ cause offence, not has,” one reader pointed out. “Everything now is prohibited in case it upsets just one person.

“If they were dressing to mock Saudi people then fair enough, but it was a tribute and celebration.”

“Not one of the Saudis I spoke with have been offended by this,” claimed another. “So why are people in the UK being offended on their behalf?”

The only people who find it offensive is Caucasian people, people of Saudi Arabia have absolutely loved it, so we always just have to cater for social justice warriors all the time who decide what offends other people?

— ▪️▫️ 𝐑𝐎𝐁 ▪️▫️ (@jarramagz) October 20, 2021

worlds gone soft

— ryan 🇸🇦 (@NUFCRyxn) October 20, 2021

One fan suggested: “The only people who find it offensive is Caucasian people. [The] people of Saudi Arabia have absolutely loved it, so [do] we always just have to cater for social justice warriors all the time who decide what offends other people?”

Others expressed dismay at “grown men complaining because they’ve been asked not to wear tea-towels on their heads.”

“How embarrassing,” one added.

Grown men complaining because they’ve been asked not to wear tea-towels on their heads man, how embarrassing

— Regan Brannigan (@regan_brannigan) October 20, 2021

I thought this would have been obvious, then I read the replies.

— Simon Young (@iamsimonyoung) October 20, 2021

Well said. It’s a shame that Geordies cheapened the image of their team and people with these antics on Sunday, in front of the viewing international markets. It’s a best a cheap Man City imitation and at worst bigotry. Cheers. TA.

— Trevor Azul (@iammrazul) October 20, 2021

“Why do some people have a problem with this?,” balked another respondent.

“The club are owned by Saudis and the club are asking people not to do it. Saying you’ve spoken to a Saudi person on Twitter who said it was OK doesn’t really cut it.”

“It’s a shame that Geordies cheapened the image of their team and people with these antics on Sunday in front of the viewing international markets,” said another critic. “It’s at best a cheap Man City imitation and at worst bigotry.”

Newcastle visit Crystal Palace on Saturday before hosting Champions League winners Chelsea at their St James’ Park home a week later.

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Newcastle fans found a novel way to recognize the club's new Saudi owners © Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith
Fans who greeted Saudi owners with mock headdresses could be given ‘education workshops’ on cultural offensiveness and stereotypes

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