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Boy, 11 wins fight against school ban on tying hair like Zlatan Ibrahimovic

By Svetlana Skarbo
18 September 2019

Head teacher told talented football player that he looked like a member of Hitler Youth.

A devoted fan of Swedish striker Ibrahimovic, Prokhor went to school on the first day of academic year with his hair tied in a man bun. Picture: Borus

School initiative to stop young footballer from wearing hair like Zlatan Ibrahimovic was overruled by Krasnoyarsk region’s Ministry of Education.

Earlier this month Prokhor Ilyinykh was asked to change hair style to a more conservative. 

A devoted fan of Swedish striker Ibrahimovic, Prokhor went to school on the first day of academic year with his hair tied in a man bun. 

Prokhor copies Ibrahimovic


Prokhor plays


With the cup


Prokhor

‘Any boy would do hair like Ibrahimovich, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho - so what?'

‘I wanted to look like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he wears hair exactly like this’, 11 years old Prokhor said. ‘My parents said it was a great idea and my mum even helped me style it. I had hair in man bun when I played tournaments before, there was never a problem with it.’

The new look didn’t go well with Prokhor’s secondary school number 4 administration and teachers. 

The head teacher found it provocative and said that it made the boy look like a member of Hitler Youth, a youth organisation of the Nazi Party in Germany in 1926-1945. 

Lyudmila Pestova

School director Lyudmila Pestova. 

‘What if tomorrow everyone else would start expressing themselves in the same way, what will they look like? Or what if tomorrow he decides to express himself by hitting someone’, school director Lyudmila Pestova said in response to parents' explanation that this was Prokhor’s way to discover his own style. 

She offered the family a choice of either changing the hair or switching to home schooling, but they refused to budge. 

Prokhor’s mother Sofya, 37, said she was to report the school to prosecutors so that they explained what rule or law Prokhor violated by tying the hair in a man bun. 

Very soon the scandal spilt into social media, with supportive messages to Prokhor coming from hundreds of Russian users as well as prominent footballers and coaches. 

Manager Valery Gazzaev said he was whole-heartedly on the boy’s side, while player Alexander Mostovoy remembered the time when school kids in Soviet Union were forced to cut long hair. 

‘Any boy would do hair like Ibrahimovich, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho - so what? It shows everyone that he loves football, that he plays football, how does it stop him from studying?’ Mostovoy said. 

Russian Football Premier League Lokomotiv Moscow FC manager Yuri Semin shared a video for Prokhor on his Instagram account.

Prokhor with mom

Prokhor (first from the left) with his mother Sofya (second from the left).

'Dear Prokhor! I am Yuri Semin, manager for Lokomotiv FC. Forgive adults for they are wrong. Grow up into new Ibrahimovic and we will be waiting for you in Lokomotiv. Good luck to you, everything is going to be fine’, Semin said.

There was no reaction from Ibrahimovic himself yet, despite multiple calls from Russian fans on his Twitter page to pay attention to the case.

Regional Minister of Education Svetlana Makovskaya apologised to Prokhor Ilyinykh and his family. Sosnovoborsk city hall demanded explanation from director of school number 4.

There was no reaction from Ibrahimovic himself yet, despite multiple calls from Russian fans on his Twitter page to pay attention to the case.

Message to Ibrahimovic

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