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Tue 30 Sep 2014 04:44 PM

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Muslim NFL player 'penalised for prayer celebration'

Husain Abdullah reportedly receives penalty under National Football League's 'excessive celebration' rules

Muslim NFL player 'penalised for prayer celebration'

A Muslim NFL player has reportedly received a penalty after celebrating a touchdown by dropping to his knees in prayer.

Husain Abdullah was penalised after scoring for the Kansas City Chiefs as they defeated the New England Patriots. He slid on his knees then pressed his forehead against the end zone grass.

Although the move violated "excessive celebration" rules, National Football League (NFL) officials have been criticised on social media, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

According to the NFL rulebook, "players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground" but it is not clear whether the penalty was given for bowing in prayer or for sliding when he scored.

Abdullah, a devout Muslim, skipped the entire 2012 season to go on a Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

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