Extravagant haircuts are nothing new in the world of football, with players like Carlos Valderrama to Roberto Baggio famous for growing their luscious locks to maximum length with little to no consequences.
But when an eight-year-old girl in the US decided to do the exact opposite and cut her hair short, it proved an altogether different matter for the powers that be.
Mili Hernandez has a perfectly good reason for cutting her hair too – she just felt like it.
“When my hair starts to grow I put it short because I’ve always had short hair,” she explained to WOWT 6 News. “I didn’t like my hair long.”
Part of an under-11s team representing Omaha’s Azzuri Cachorros at the Springfield Soccer Club tournament, Hernandez had defied her younger years to be among the very best players on the team.
They had been set to compete in the final too, until someone lodged a complaint claiming the Cachorros had an advantage in that one of their team was a boy.
Things reached a new low, however, when Mili’s understandly incensed father, Gerardo Hernandez, turned up at the tournament with an ID confirming his daughter was in fact female, only to be turned away.
“I was mad. I never had that problem before. She’s been playing so long in different tournaments,” he told the Washington Post.
“I don’t want no problems with nobody, but that wasn’t the right way to treat people. Why they want to tell my girl looks like a boy?”
While confusion reigns over the decision, Hernandez has found at least one backer in US women’s soccer star Abby Wambach who took to Twitter to offer her support.
Mili, don't EVER let anyone tell you that you aren't perfect just as you are.i won championships with short hair https://t.co/WlfL3EIPic
— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) June 5, 2017
The tournament’s organisers have yet to offer up any kind of explanation.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.