Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan has been included in a selection of over 40 footballers plying their trade in the United Arab Emirates who have hairstyles that are considered to be ‘unethical’, according to the gulf nation’s football association.
The prolific striker currently plays his club football for Al Ahli FC in Dubai, on loan from Shanghai SIPG, and his appearance on the pitch is therefore scrutinised by the country’s Islamic-based regulations.
The 31-year-old sports a mohawk haircut, which is considered a Qaza hairstyle, and therefore not allowed in terms of UAE FA guidelines.
The hairstyle is considered ‘un-Islamic’ due to some Islamic teachings which forbid the use of Qaza hairstyles. This is when one part of the head is shaved, but other parts are left unshaven.
Last year in Saudi Arabia a decree went into effect banning footballers playing in the kingdom from wearing Qaza or similar hairstyles, and that push to discourage players from appearing in a way that is offensive to Islamic teachings is spreading to other parts of the gulf.
In 2012, Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah was told to shave his ‘un-Islamic’ hair by a referee before being allowed to play for his club, Al Shabab.
It is unclear at this stage whether the 40 players in question, including Gyan, will be forced to cut their hair in order to feature for their clubs.
Gyan is famous for sporting interesting and eccentric hairstyles during spells playing for Udinese, Sunderland and Shanghai, and as an outspoken and at times controversial personality, he will likely have something to say about any pressure for him to change his personal appearance in order to conform to FA guidelines.