NEWCASTLE told fans they CAN wear Arabic clothing in support of the new owners in a shock U-turn.

Anti-racism groups such as Kick It Out hit out heavily at the supporters who dressed in tunics and tea towels 'unless they would ordinarily wear such attire'.


And the Toon took the decision on Wednesday to call on their followers to stop the stunt, calling it 'culturally inappropriate', while assuring them the new owners have not yet taken offence.

But in a sudden change of heart, the club released another statement on Saturday saying their fans wanting to support by wearing the traditional Saudi wear 'should feel free to do so'.

Newcastle said: "Newcastle United FC would like to clarify guidance issued on Wednesday October 20th regarding matchday attire.

"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."

The initial message earlier in the week stated: "Newcastle United is kindly asking supporters to refrain from wearing traditional Arabic clothing or Middle East-inspired head coverings at matches if they would not ordinarily wear such attire.

"No-one among the new ownership group was in any way offended by the attire of the fans who chose to celebrate in this way.

"However, there remains the possibility that dressing this way is culturally inappropriate and risks causing offence to others.

"All visitors to the club are, as always, encouraged to wear whatever is the norm for their own culture or religion, continuing to reflect the broad and rich multicultural communities and groups from which the club proudly draws its support."

MIXED RECEPTION

Newcastle travelled to Crystal Palace for this afternoon's Premier League game – the first since Steve Bruce was sacked as manager.

And plenty of Magpies fans again opted to dress in the Middle Eastern robes and head coverings while others held up the Saudi Arabian national flag.

In the home end, however, there was resentment from Palace fans towards the £300million takeover.

Holmesdale Road end supporters unfurled a huge banner accusing the Saudi regime of terrorism, beheadings and murder.

They held the giant mural aloft just before the two sides entered the pitch at Selhurst Park.

On it was an image of the Saudi Investment Fund PIF brandishing a sword, with Premier League chief executive Richard Masters holding a dagger with blood dripping at his feet around a bag of money.

There was also a checklist of offences human rights organisations say the Saudi regime is responsible for, with a tick next to each one.

The offences were: terrorism, beheadings, civil rights abuse, murder, persecution and censorship.

Newcastle were then roundly booed by the home crowd as they entered the field.



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