Newcastle United urge fans to stop dressing up as Gulf Arabs

Newcastle United have urged their 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 guidance comes after a Saudi-led consortium completed a £300m takeover of the club a few weeks ago.

Since then a number of supporters have attended St. James’ Park wearing Gulf Arab head coverings and thobes, marking the takeover of the club by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.

Newcastle United said: “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, as always, 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.”

5Pillars visited Newcastle on Sunday and spoke to a number of fans wearing Saudi-style head coverings and thobes. Most told us that they had ordered the items from Amazon and were wearing them in celebration of the takeover of their club.

Some fans also brandished the Saudi flag with the shahada on it while simultaneously drinking alcohol. However, Newcastle United have made no request for their fans to stop doing this.

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