Saudi footballer in trouble for dabbing

Footballer dabbing Image copyright @dawriplusksa

It is not unusual for people to express their opinions and frustrations on social media during a football match.

However, a player in Saudi Arabia has stirred controversy online, not for his skill on the pitch, but a movement made in the technical area.

Footage of a professional footballer for the Saudi club Al Nojoom dabbing during a match on 3 January, has been met with anger from some social media users.

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The clip, shared by Saudi sports broadcaster Dawri Plus, shows the player refusing a high-five and dabbing instead. The commentator can be heard saying, "No, no, no," though it is not clear if this is a reaction to the player's choice to dab.

Dabbing has been the subject of controversy in Saudi Arabia and is strictly forbidden by the authorities because of its perceived link to drug use.

It is not yet known if the player will face legal action over the footage, however last year a singer was arrested after a video showing him dabbing on stage emerged online.

What is dabbing?

The movement, which involves a person tucking their head into the crook of their arm, is thought to have originated in the hip-hop scene of Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

It has since become a global phenomenon with notable dabbers including Norwegian royalty and US politicians.

The Saudi Interior Ministry's National Commission for Combating Drugs, published a poster last year warning "people about the dangers of this [move] on the youth and society".

Image copyright NCNC

Many condemned the players move as "stupid," given the government's position on the issue.

"The [anti-narcotics body] is combating this move, you're a professional player so why are you doing this?" Read one response.

Some took to tagging the Saudi authorities in their replies in an apparent attempt to bring the incident to their attention.

One user tagged the account of the General Directorate of Narcotics Control with the comment, "For you, with regards".

Some were less troubled by the player's actions. One user wrote: "It's no big deal, do you have to complicate everything to do with celebrating or showing happiness? I don't see what you're making a big deal out of."

Additional reporting by BBC Monitoring