New Cardiff City signing Jazz Richards has found himself at the centre of controversy after allegedly refusing several requests from Bluebirds fans to perform the famous Ayatollah on his competitive debut.
Former Swansea City star Richards, who was part of Wales’ Euro 2016 squad, started for Cardiff against Birmingham City following his summer move from Fulham.
Several fans who were at the match claimed Richards refused repeated requests to ‘do the Ayatollah’ before being booed by his own supporters.
The Ayatollah has been used by Cardiff City fans since the 1990s and involves a player raising his hands above his head and repeatedly moving them up and down. It is regularly performed by Cardiff players in response to fans chanting ‘do the Ayatollah’.
There have been suggestions he did eventually do it, although most fans appear to have missed the gesture.
Richards, who actually began his youth career at Cardiff, has long been associated with arch rivals Swansea after spending eight years at the Swans between 2007 and 2015.
One fan, Carl Curtis, who helped organise transport for the 1,700 hardcore Cardiff supporters who travelled to St Andrews for the first match of the season, wrote on the Cardiff City forum he helps run: “I am at the game and this is absolutely true. In fact, it is now seven times [Richards has been asked to do the Ayatollah].
“If Lex Immers and Lee Peltier hadn’t pointed it out to him then I would have given him the benefit of the doubt but he heard it and refused. No wonder we all booed him.”
While some supporters were clearly angry about the situation, others described it as a fuss about nothing, urging fans to get behind the players and saying Richards was right to just concentrate on his football.
There has been no comment from Cardiff City on the matter.
Here’s what fans have been saying on social media…
Some were angry…
If you sign for your ex-club rivals then you take everything that comes with it. Dont mug the fans off whilst wearing the shirt#JazzRichards
— Andrew O’Regan (@Andrew_ORegan) August 6, 2016
— Hoochiecoochieblues (@EnormousProphet) August 6, 2016
Jazz Richards refusing to do the ayatollah. I know he’s an ex jack but,well,you play for Cardiff mate. Nows not the time to show yer colours
Shocking jazz Richards not doing the ayatollah! @BBCRadioWales he deffo heard as immers even showed him what to do..
— Morgan Evans (@Morgevs99) August 6, 2016
Some (including Swansea fans) thought it was a fuss about nothing…
Can’t believe fans are actually booing Jazz Richards for not doing the ayatollah. Get a grip – let him concentrate on his game!
— The Leckwith Mole (@TheLeckwithMole) August 6, 2016
Hilarious this Jazz Richards nonsense. Is the Ayatollah still a thing?
— mike (@pl0dder) August 6, 2016
Can’t see the big fuss about Jazz Richards not doing the ayatollah tbh. So what!! He’s a city player now
— Blain Morgan (@BlainM88) August 6, 2016
Cardiff fans boo’ed Jazz Richards because he didn’t do the ayatollah? How dare he not slap his head and concentrate on his game.
— TD (@ThomDav_) August 6, 2016