30/09/2014 09:06 BST | Updated 30/09/2014 09:59 BST

Kansas City's Husain Abdullah Penalised For Praying After Touchdown

Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah was penalised against New England Patriots after he celebrated his touchdown by dropping to his knees in prayer.

The 29-year-old devout Muslim was technically in violation of the league’s celebration rules after his 39-yard interception in Kansas' 41-14 Monday win over the Patriots. However, his transgression has triggered a debate in America on whether NFL players should be flagged for a demonstration of faith.

Abdullah practices the Sajdah after his touchdown

Abdullah received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for practicing the Sajdah, but former Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow, an outspoken Christian, was never punished for a similar act and other Christian players have gone unpenalised, despite no exception stated in the rulebook.

Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) of the NFL rulebook prohibits "Prolonged or excessive celebrations or demonstrations by an individual player. Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground. A celebration or demonstration shall be deemed excessive or prolonged if a player continues to celebrate or demonstrate after a warning from an official."

Abdullah scored after a 39-yard interception

Abdullah's agent tweeted: "If the NFL tries to fine Husain Abdullah for his TD celebration there's going to be some problems."