FIFA to consider amending hijab ban

FIFA vice president Prince Ali Al Hussein will propose that soccer’s governing body agree on “general principles” for the use of Islamic headscarfs. He’ll bring the issue up at the meeting of the executive committee in December. FIFA banned the Islamic scarf covering a women’s neck in 2007, claiming safety concerns.

A statement from the Asian Football Confederation says Tuesday that the proposals will ensure “the safe use of hijab in the game”, satisfy “cultural customs” of female teams from Islamic countries and meet FIFA rules of inclusion.

Leaders and sports officials in Islamic countries have criticized the ban, saying it discourages women from playing soccer. In June, Iran’s team forfeited a 2012 Olympic qualifier against Jordan because it wouldn’t play without the hijabs.

Associated Press, 25 October 2011

Update:  See also MidEastPosts, 27 October 2011