Muscat: Excessive goal celebrations and unusual hairstyles have been shown the red card by the Oman Football Association (OFA) as it moves to protect the 'ethics' of the game.
The OFA has come out with a new code of conduct for players after an ongoing controversy in the aftermath of a football match.
According to the new regulations, OFA prohibits players from extreme celebrations on the field after scoring a goal and the governing body also bans players sporting unusual hairstyles or even colouring their hair.
The decision comes after Al Nahda Club player Juma Saeed (pictured) was seen 'inappropriately' celebrating on the field after scoring a goal against Fanja in the Omantel Professional League last week that raised heated debates among the football aficionados in the country. However, the Ivory Coast player has been reprimanded with a warning. Speaking to Times of Oman, Saleh Al Farsi, vice-chairman of OFA said the new rule would further improve the standards of the game. "Players are role models for upcoming players.
"That kind of a behaviour from players is unacceptable. We have looked into this particular incident and have taken it very seriously. That was the reason why we have decided to have a strict dress code and also have a control on the appearance of the players," Al Farsi explained.
In a major development following the incident, OFA has also decided to make the Disciplinary Committee an autonomous body with additional powers. Headed by OFA board member Hamad Al Hadrami, the Disciplinary Committee can now take action against players violating the new code of conduct.
"If a player transgresses in a way that brings the integrity of the team or themselves or the organisation into question, they (Disciplinary Committee) have the power to take action. They need not refer it to the higher authorities," Al Farsi noted.
Saeed let off with warning
When asked as to why the OFA did not take any action against the player, Al Farsi had this to say: "When this incident happened there was no regulation in place so we could only warn the player. But now with the new code of conduct, the committee can take action if such an action or behaviour recurs."
In the context of the controversy, OFA also has given powers to the match referee who will now inspect the dressing room before any domestic games to ensure the players adhere to the code of conduct.
"Referees will have a check on these players and if they find any of them breaching the rules they can stop them from playing," Al Farsi pointed out.
Essa Al Naimani, general secretary of Al Nahda Club welcomed the new regulation from the governing body. "It's good they have finally come out with the rules for players. They should have implemented it before the season started. This would have forced the players to be careful," he said.
Asked if the club would be taking any action against Saeed, the club official said the player has already apologised to the authorities concerned. "This was quite an unaccepted behaviour from him. But he learnt his lesson and even apologised publicly. He didn't do it purposely so we let him off with a warning," he said.
Saeed who has been playing for Al Nahda since 2011 apologised for his behaviour. "I admit my mistake. It should not have happened. I am really sorry for what I have done," he added.