The Cardiff city fans have made a music video titled ‘Do the Ayatollah’. Ayatollah (“Sign of Allah”) is a high-ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics.

Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudenceethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin.

Cardiff City Football Club is a professional football club based in Cardiff, Wales that competes in the English football league system


The name “ayatollah” originates from a passage in the Quran which the Shi’a, unlike the Sunni, interpret to mean human beings can be regarded as ‘signs’ or ‘evidence’ of God. Passage 51:20–21 of the Quran states:

On the earth are signs (Ayat) for those of assured Faith,

As also in your own selves: Will ye not then see?

Do the Ayatollah

The Ayatollah is a football celebration used by fans of Welsh football club Cardiff CityPerforming the action is sometimes preceded by a chant of “do the Ayatollah”.


The Ayatollah celebration came into use at Cardiff City games in 1990. It was originally performed by the singer and fans of a Welsh-language punk group called U Thant. It was first performed by Cardiff City fans at Sincil Bank, home of Lincoln City, on September 15, 1990, the day after U Thant had played a gig at Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre. U Thant’s singer had been inspired by footage of attendants at the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini, which was broadcast live on British TV, doing the movement to express their grief at his death.

It has been claimed that it was initially used as a sign of despair at the way the team were playing. It quickly became very popular with fans of the club, and has since been used in terms of celebration and support for the team. Away games at Hereford United and Peterborough United in 1992 helped cement its place in the fans’ repertoire.

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