Saudi Arabian Soccer Player Facing Jail Time For Dabbing

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A Saudi Arabian soccer player is facing legal trouble after dabbing during a King’s Cup match. The Al Nojoom player, whose identity still remains unknown, was offered a high-five by a teammate, but instead, chose to do a dab, BBC reported. The entire incident has been caught on camera and, reportedly, even the sports broadcaster was surprised and can be heard saying “No, no, no.”

The dance move is thought to have originated in the Southern hip-hop scene in the United States of America, although it remains unclear who came up with it. The dab rose to national prominence in the United States in 2015, but it has since spread all over the world. Even the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, dabbed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Apart from reaching politics, dabbing is popular in sports, soccer in particular, and players like the Manchester United midfielder and French international, Paul Pogba, are famous for dabbing during goal celebrations.

This obsession with the dab does not seem to be shared in some parts of the world. Saudi Arabia, however, seems to have taken things much further and the country is reportedly waging a war against dabbing. The dance move is thought to have links to drug culture, which is why the Saudi Arabian National Committee for Combating Drugs is against it. The committee’s president called the dance move a “harmful influence on youth” and added that “those who promote it in public events or on social media will face consequences,” Saudi Gazette reported. In Saudi Arabia, the dab is thought to suggest sniffing drugs.

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If the Al Nojoom soccer player gets arrested for dabbing he will not be the first public figure in Saudi Arabia to face legal trouble for publicly performing this dance move.

In August last year, Abdallah Al Shahani, famous Arabian singer, TV host and actor dabbed on stage. A video of him performing the dance move soon went viral, causing a social media outrage. He was subsequently arrested by Saudi authorities. The singer then apologized on social media, writing: “I apologize to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology.”

The Al Nojoom soccer player could face the same fate, but even if the authorities somehow decide to give him a pass, the Saudi Arabian soccer federation could still sanction him, Yahoo Sports reports.