Soccer: rules change to allow Islamic head scarves

Strong boost for female football in countries like Iran

03 March, 10:41

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, MARCH 3 - The women will be able to wear Islamic headscarves during official football matches, IFAB (International Football Association Board) decided. IFAB is the international body that has determined changes to the international soccer rules since 1886. "After a two-year pilot, The IFAB agreed that there was no indication as to why the wearing of head covers should be prohibited, as long as their design restrictions are respected in line with the new wording of Law 4, agreed on at today's AGM,'' said the decision reported on the website of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association).

    Thus the green light has been given since the new "football headscarves" are simple head covers without any pins or other fixing items that could be dangerous in clashes during the game.

    The only restriction is that the football head cover must be the same colour as the jersey. The ban on head covers was imposed due to the danger of injuring the head or the neck, but in 2012, IFAB decided to accept the request made by the Asian Football Confederation, opening a trial period of two years.

    The decision will give an very strong boost to female football in countries where respect for Islamic traditions is particularly strong, such as Iran, which in 2012 was excluded from the Olympics due to the head cover. In June 2012, the Iranian national football team was in Amman for an Olympic qualification trial, but the Chinese referee told the players to take off their head covers following FIFA rules. The players refused and the game was cancelled with a 3-0 penalty victory granted to Jordan, leaving the Iranian players in tears in the middle of the field. Episodes of this kind have happened many times in recent years on football fields around the world.

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