United Nations urges FIFA to allow hijab

The United Nations has urged FIFA to allow Islamic women to wear a hijab headscarf while playing soccer.

The U.N. says Wilfried Lemke, sports adviser to secretary general Ban Ki-moon, has written to FIFA president Sepp Blatter backing a proposal being considered at a meeting on Saturday. “FIFA has the responsibility to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to participate in football,” Lemke said.

FIFA outlawed hijabs for safety reasons in 2007, and allowed a cap that some players object to because it exposes their neck. FIFA’s rules panel meets in England, and will receive a presentation from FIFA vice president Prince Ali of Jordan to allow a headscarf held in place by a Velcro fastener.

Associated Press, 29 February 2012

Cf. “The politics of FIFA and the hijab”, Foreign Policy, 28 February 2012