The sports authority in Saudi Arabia has announced that it will ban anyone from entering stadiums or facilities that is “inappropriately dressed.”
The new rule seems to be a push by the Saudi authorities to prevent men from donning a loose, short-sleeved robe, which is traditionally an indoor garment, in public.
The BBC notes that the hashtag “banning nightwear in stadiums” has been used close to 60,000 times on Twitter since the ban was revealed three days ago.
A statement issued by the General Sports Authority said Turki al Alshikh, who was appointed chairman by royal decree in September, instructed sports officials to refuse entry to “inappropriately dressed” patrons.
“This is in light of the fact that football matches and some sports games are broadcast live and are watched by people of different ages,” the statement read.
“This requires people to appear in clothing that suits the nature of Saudi society and is in line with public decorum, and keep away from anything that violates this, including the wearing of garments that are not appropriate to appear in public places.”
Saudi Arabia bans ‘nightwear’ in sport stadiums. pic.twitter.com/lf81yOc3Zz
— House Of Signature (@house_signature) October 13, 2017
Many fans took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the issue.
“It is a decision that will have a considerable impact on Al-Hilal team fans’ attendance,” wrote one social media user, “given that most of them wear this garment when attending [games].”
Another said: “To sensible people reading this tweet, it is called nightwear, so why do you wear it in public places… a delightful and very right decision”.
Those that opposed the ban also took to social media, with one fan stating: “A strange and improvised decision. Do you know that the price for the right robe is only 30 riyals ($8/£6)? They think the people are rich.”