Watch: Astonishing moment fan whips player in Saudi Super Cup final

Football in Saudi Arabia has been shamed after a player was attacked by a supporter with a whip in ugly scenes in the aftermath of the Saudi Super Cup final.

The Saudi Pro League, which has risen to global prominence in the last couple of years by attracting some of the worlds’ biggest stars, including Cristano Ronaldo, has been working hard to improve its image, but the events after the Saudi Super Cup final have grabbed attention for the wrong reasons.

The country’s most powerful side, Al-Hilal, beat Al-Ittihad 4-1 in the final to stay on course for an unprecedented quadruple.

At the end of the match, Al-Ittihad striker Abderrazak Hamdallah was pictured remonstrating with a supporter in the stands and appeared to throw water in their direction. The supporter responded by twice unleashing a whip that struck the 33-year-old.

Abderrazak Hamdallah (right) was dragged away by team-mates after appearing to be attacked from the stands
Abderrazak Hamdallah (right) was dragged away by team-mates after appearing to be attacked from the stands

The striker’s team-mates and club staff then rushed in to shepherd Hamdallah from the scene before security intervened.

Hamdallah scored for Al-Ittihad but could not stop his side – containing Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kanté – suffering a chastening defeat.

Al-Hilal, also in the semi-final of the Asian Champions League and the Saudi King’s Cup, extended their world record winning streak for top-tier teams to 34 consecutive games in all competitions.

Three days after defeating Al-Nassr in the semi-final, during which Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for elbowing Ali Al-Bulaihi, two goals from Brazilian winger Malcom did the damage for Al-Hilal. Salem Al-Dawsari and Nasser Al-Dawsari sealed the win with late goals.

“It was a difficult game and I am very happy to score two goals,” Malcom told Saudi television. “We are also happy to collect our first title of the season but we are chasing more trophies.”

In 2023, the Saudi Super Cup was expanded from a single game between the league champion and King’s Cup winner to include the runners-up from both competitions. It was also moved to Abu Dhabi.

Al-Hilal return to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to take on Al-Ain in the first leg of the Asian Champions League semifinals as they seek a record fifth continental title.

The club’s potentially record-breaking season comes after they spent about over £300 million on player transfers after being taken over by the Saudi sovereign wealth operation, the Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.