In Europe there is not (yet?) the great enthusiasm for the World Cup – at least among adults. They know the many problems involved in awarding contracts to Qatar. But children don't understand the questionable and complex circumstances to the same extent, so they're just happy to be able to watch so much football and cheer for their heroes. So did 12-year-old Alfie Ransom from the English town of Hull.
The boy is a huge football fan and has a special idol: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, Brazilian striker legend and commonly known only by his first name. Not to be confused with Cristiano Ronaldo, who is significantly younger and hails from Portugal (but also plays football well). Both Ronaldos experimented a lot with their hairstyles, which is not uncommon for professional footballers, but one haircut Ronaldo sported at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea was particularly memorable.
With this idiosyncratic style, his entire head was shaved very short, except for a kind of semicircle over his forehead. Actually not an everyday hairstyle at all - which was nevertheless copied by countless fans all over the world. Ronaldo later even apologized with a wink to all the mothers whose sons would have worn this kind of style on their heads because of him. But even today, the World Cup haircut has not been forgotten – as 12-year-old Alfie proved. Because to pay homage to his heroes for the current World Cup, he had this hairstyle cut.
Alfie's mother Emma struggles with the requirement. "Nowadays schools always emphasize that they accept everyone as they are and that they want to empower children to be unique and to be themselves. Why is that different now?" she asks in the British newspaper Metro. "Ronaldo is my son's favorite footballer - and it's the World Cup!" His friends thought the hairstyle was great. And shaving them off Alfie would seem "cruel" to her. "That doesn't affect his learning behavior," says Emma.
Since their son would like to go to school, the two of them have to bite the bullet. Even if it will probably make him "unhappy", the mother fears that Alfie's Ronaldo hairstyle will have to give way. However, this case sparked a nationwide debate about the extent to which schools should be allowed to dictate how students look. For some Britons, interventions like this go too far – others point out that the parents were aware of the rules regarding clothing and appearance in advance.
Sources: Metro UK, Hull Live