Vol. 5 Num 156 Thu. October 28, 2004  

Crazy hairdos out in Iran

Iranian footballers have been banned from sporting "unconventional" hairstyles and beards on the pitch and offenders will be fined and banned from playing, football officials said.

"Football clubs have been ordered to stop players with long, messy hair, ponytails, hair bands and certain kinds of beard, or they will be fined and banned from playing," an Iranian football federation official said.

"We live in a traditional society and certain values must be respected. The champions who act as role models to society set a bad example to the youth by appearing like that," he added.

Football is the most popular sport in Iran and scores of top players have long hair and wear ponytails.

So far two players in the Iranian professional league have received warnings about their hairstyles and trendy beards.