Former football star Carlos Puyol and his famous head of hair have caused a massive stir in Iran after it was revealed as the reason he was banned from appearing on state television.
The scruffy haired 2010 World Cup winner with Spain was invited onto Iranian TV to give his insights on the World Cup tournament in Russia.
Puyol was scheduled to appear alongside host Adel Ferdosipour in a special programme on Channel 3 for the group match between Iran and Spain.
However, the former Barcelona captain was denied entry to the IRTV 3 studio in Tehran with initial reports claiming his asking price for an appearance fee was too high.
“You must be aware that Carles Puyol was scheduled to be with us tonight,” Mr Ferdosipour told viewers.
“However, he is in his hotel right now. I did everything I could but it didn’t happen. I apologise.”
It later emerged that the reason Puyol wasn’t allowed on the air was “because of his looks (long hair),” according to news website Entekhab, who quoted the footballer.
Carles puyol was invited to Iran to analyze Iran/Spain footbal game on statTV but his interview was canceled in the last minute.Why?His hair was too long! Is this stupid?Carles now feels Iranian women’s pain.We have been ban for 40 years.Shame it’s all about hair. #WhiteWednesday pic.twitter.com/8mm5Y0OLDU
— masih alinejad (@AlinejadMasih) June 22, 2018
The Iranian Football Federation forbids players from having hairstyles that “spread foreign culture.”
However, Puyol’s bizarre situation prompted a mixture of shock, disappointment and mockery from fans on social media.
That’s just ridiculous? Are the aroused by men’s hair too??
— Lou lou (@upuouo) June 23, 2018
This is beyond silly 😆🤦🏻♂️
— Mino🎗 (@mino_leviosa) June 22, 2018
Puyol had the last laugh after his native Spain edged Iran 1-0 thanks to a second half Diego Costa goal.