Newcastle owners backtrack on fans wearing mock Saudi clothing

Newcastle United's owners have made a surprise U-turn on fans wearing Arabic-inspired headwear – insisting they can now do what they want.

The club issued a statement on Wednesday "kindly asking" fans to stop wearing such clothing after Kick it Out warned it could be considered racist, offensive or culturally insensitive.

Some Geordies had worn tea towels on their heads following the takeover of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The Premier League outfit insisted the club owners did not find mock dressing offensive.

But they warned there "remains the possibility that dressing this way is culturally inappropriate and risks causing offence to others".

Now the club has changed its stance, with a statement on Saturday reading: "The new owners have been overwhelmed by the welcome of the local community, following the acquisition of the club two weeks ago.

"The fans who have celebrated by wearing culturally traditional clothing, including head coverings, have been part of that welcome.

"Those who wish to support the club by wearing appropriate culturally-inspired clothing should feel free to do so as they see fit. We are inclusive to all.

"To reiterate what we said previously, neither the club nor its new owners were offended by attire worn, and appreciate the overt statements of support and acceptance by our great fans.

"Newcastle United FC and its new owners continue to support the Premier League's initiatives on diversity and inclusion, including No Room for Racism.

"In closing, we thank the fans of Newcastle United FC for their incredible support."

Should Newcastle fans be allowed to wear mock Arabic headgear? Let us know in the comment section…

The Tyneside outfit has come under fire for the takeover due to Saudi Arabia's grim history of human rights, including public executions and the suppression of critics.

Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has also been accused by US intelligence of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Newcastle insist they have "legally binding assurances" that the state will not control the club.

But critics have ridiculed how this can be so when Bin Salman is the chair of PIF.

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