FIFA in head scarf row

2010-04-06 09:59

Zurich - Iran's girls football team has been kicked out of the Youth Olympic Games because FIFA rules prevent players wearing an Islamic head scarf.

Thailand was nominated on Monday to replace the barred Iranians, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a story on its website.

"FIFA decreed that the wearing of Islamic hijab was not in accordance with the laws of the game," the report said.

Iran's national Olympic committee had called on FIFA, football's world governing body, and the International Olympic Committee to review the head scarf ban. The hijab is worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke rejected the Iranian Olympic panel's request in a letter to the national football federation.

"Taking into consideration the clear position stated by the (Olympic committee) of Iran, the FIFA Executive Committee had no choice but to take the decision that (Iran) will not be able to participate," Valcke said, according to the AFC.

FIFA maintains football's international rule book which contains a section on players' on-field equipment.

Law 4 states that "basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.

"The team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment has political, religious or personal slogans or statements will be sanctioned by the competition organizer or by FIFA."

The hijab issue was first examined in 2007 after an 11-year-old girl in Canada was prevented from wearing one for safety reasons.

FIFA's rules-making arm, the International Football Association Board, declined to make an exception for religious clothing.

Iran was scheduled to compete in a six-nation tournament for girls at the inaugural Youth Olympics being held Aug. 12-25 in Singapore.

Thailand will now represent Asia against Turkey, Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile and Papua New Guinea.

Around 3 600 athletes aged 14-18 will compete in 26 sports.


  • Raj - 2010-04-06 10:06

    FIFA are the new gods...bow to them or else!!!!

  • Nicole - 2010-04-06 10:22

    Well are western countries lucky that their religion doesn't have anything that interferes with football. I think it is a poor decision from FIFA's side. They've obviously been playing well enough with the scarves up til now so not entirely certain what the problem is.

  • fuzzy - 2010-04-06 10:29

    they should all wear scrum caps like Petr Cech

  • alon - 2010-04-06 10:33

    On the soccer field all players are equal, I don't think the ban should be lifted, but it makes me sad to think of the disrespect this team would get from their nation if they were to play without head scarves. its savage and stupid.

  • H - 2010-04-06 10:52

    I do not see how this affects the way the girls play the game or the opposition for that matter....FIFA should be encouragin unity and not excluding certain sections due to their religious requirements. Will a Sikh man paying football for England one day with his obligatory turban also be disqualified?

  • Wow - 2010-04-06 10:56

    I see Fifa is above religion now ! ! ! What happens when Brazilian players show their under T-shirts with religious messages?! I think Fifa is just showing double standards....

  • Imraan - 2010-04-06 10:59

    Fifa can shove it up the a..

  • Elizabeth - 2010-04-06 11:00

    This is ridiculous - a head scarf is not making a religious "statement". It is simply observing a religious custom. Honestly,it is absurd to keep these girls from competing over what they choose to wear on their heads.

  • Nick - 2010-04-06 11:03

    What's all the fuss about, the rules a clear a very simple "basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements" why can't these girls play with their head scarfs off, like million of other girls, i guess they need to stand out in a crowd and make a statement. Tough - go home, come back when your better dressed for a game of football.

  • Peter - 2010-04-06 11:05

    then why do FIFA allow Christians to wear crosses around their necks! I think this is ridiculously insensitive. Sport is meant to bring people together, not cause divides!

  • Majik - 2010-04-06 11:10

    Rules are rules if you don't like them make up your own scarf wearing game then you can make your own rules and play with a bucket over your head if that's what you want! Until then don't try come with your attitudes that a different set of rules apply to you! Next you gonna have some people saying it's their religion to use your hands while playing football God does not permit me to use my feet? Seriously WTF

  • reyana - 2010-04-06 11:11

    So players like David Beckham (sought after for the world cup) do not make personal statements with their hair? I would think that a religious choice far outweighs what Posh tells you to do with your hair...

  • SL - 2010-04-06 11:26

    Agree with Nicole. Seems it's sanctions off the field and on the field! Islamophobia at its best...

  • Face It - 2010-04-06 11:30

    The old saying "When in Rome do as the Romens do" applies. It is more disrespectful not to abide by the hosts rules than it is not accept others.

  • Mohammed - 2010-04-06 11:31

    All Muslim countries should and must boycott the 2010 SWC and all future World cups until the the rule is changed.

  • RL - 2010-04-06 11:41

    while i do feel for the girls i think by them saying everyone should sport the same apparell this does ensure unity ... ps.weren't they aware of the rule previously?

  • Luke - 2010-04-06 11:43

    @Elizabeth. And the difference between a "statement" and "observing a custom" is?

  • Double standards - 2010-04-06 11:49

    FIFA never seem to say anything when players lift their shirts showing text embracing God and Jesus, I once even saw an african player running on the field with a Star of David flag promoting is religion in the AFCON cup, and not a word from FIFA, this is nothing new for muslims around the world. The world today would much rather embrace young girls running around in bikinis on the pitch to promote thier own ideological ideas. Because immorality has become the norm, and morality is for the insane and old-fashioned.

  • MIKE - 2010-04-06 11:52


  • HowDareThey - 2010-04-06 11:53

    And this is for the youth. Football is a game for all and suddenly Fifa gets to say who can play and who don't. This is a total disrespect for the Muslim Faith.

  • Anil Singh - 2010-04-06 12:12

    Theres no place for religion in the sports field. Rules are rules and they apply to everyone. Good on you FIFA for not bowing to IRAN and islam. Islamic countries expect the whole world to bend over for them. Strangely, they don't seem to show the same courtesy to the rest of the world!!! FIFA 1-0 IRAN :-)

  • Shiraj - 2010-04-06 12:19

    Further ridiculous decisions - perhaps i shouldnt run so fast to enjoy the beautiful game at the World Cup as obviously, respecting the need to wear the headscarf is not an option for FIFA and makes it less of a beautiful game. What happened to respect, courtesy, a global game etc. Such a joke, i even checked the date to see if its an April fool joke...unfortunaly not

  • Y - 2010-04-06 12:24

    so will Shikhs be told to remove headgear to play in fifa sacntioned tournaments?

  • Mr.B - 2010-04-06 12:25

    Firstly Nick please go and F-Yourself and that is the truth,secondly I would like to see how many Muslims actually stand together and not go and watch the 2010 soccer to show their support,once again it is always the muslims,outfits have nothing to do with the game,their faces are not covered,so Drogba and company must not wear alice bands,are we becomming so pitifull,it is honestly a shame

  • salim - 2010-04-06 12:25

    this is utter arrogance from fifa a head scarf is a symbol if respect in the muslim world and clearly doesnt interfere with the play neither it gives advantage or disadvantage this is a very serious situations

  • Jim - 2010-04-06 12:28

    @ mohammed - now that is a great idea! Please double your efforts to ensure that it happens. Thx

  • Anne - 2010-04-06 12:53

    when we travel to the middle east we are expected to conform to muslim law. Muslim or not you wear a burkha! Why then can it not work both ways? We are ALWAYS making exceptions. In some christian countries Islam is offensive. Why must we always suck it up?

  • Hansie - 2010-04-06 13:03

    Then why are male soccer players allowed to make the cross sign across their shoulders and chest when entering the field or when they miss goals? Why do some wear messages under their kits? I saw a game where Tevez, showed a messgae about Christ after he scored. Oh wait... if it not Christianity then it's not ok?

  • Ian - 2010-04-06 13:06

    As far as I know, no jewelery is allowed on the field of play (including crosses) - they have to be removed. Players lifting their shirts were at one stage yellow carded - I think this still applies. So whether right or wrong, Fifa are at least consistant.

  • MS - 2010-04-06 14:12

    @Anne. You're talking thru your a**e. Please tell me the name of the country where you're forced to wear the burqa when you visit there? I live in the Middle East, so I know you're talking crap. You've probably never traveled outside SA....

  • MS - 2010-04-06 14:15

    @Anne. You're talking thru your a**e. Please tell me the name of the country where you're forced to wear the burqa when you visit there? I live in the Middle East, so I know you're talking crap. You've probably never traveled outside SA....

  • JustinD - 2010-04-06 15:05

    FIFA is run by winkers

  • Naz - 2010-04-06 15:29

    Unfortunately, Fifa has more strength then the united nations and lets admit it Seb Blatter commands more respect than most presidents, therefore they are arrogant and full of BS. They should be taught a lesson, I dont feel so excited about attending any of the 11 WC games I have tickets for! I will not take this lightly and partake in any form of protest against this injustice!

  • Wally - 2010-04-06 15:59

    Fifa encouraging more showing of the flesh.. nice!!!.. i guess the Mother of Jesus (Mary) would have been banned aswell back in her day as she covered her modesty too, then i wonder what Jesus would have told Fifa about that!!??. Im sure he would of loved to watch his mom play some footie scoring a hatrick... bloody hippocrits

  • james - 2010-04-06 17:52

    Couldn't agree more than FIFA. Keep religion out. Where do you draw the line. Rules are rules, abide by them or off.

  • William - 2010-04-06 19:50

    Utterly ridiculous. FIFA is a pathetic organisation governed by money and greed, and not the good of the game. @Nick and Majik, you guys are retarded. They want to wear the head-covers because its part of their culture. Its not a religious statement, it just happens to part of their religion, like making the sign of the cross when a goal is scored etc etc. Furthermore its completely harmless to everyone. Majik, your comparission was the most idiotic thing I have ever read in my life. Take the massive chips off your shoulders please. Stopping girls from playing soccer because of head-covers...What a shocking indication of the state of football.

  • Shaheen - 2010-04-07 08:19

    fifa are a bunch of idiots. Our CREATORS laws and rules are far greater and much more important than any rules made up by men. Every sole shall taste death and we have to answer for everything we have done in this worldly life. So fifa be warned............

  • Mr K - 2010-04-07 10:05

    I agree with FIFA, Imagine if everyone had to represent their religion on the field, the Zulus with their "Bhushu's", Sothos with their “Blanktes” etc. The wouldn’t be a need to the kit now would there?

  • William - 2010-04-07 13:47

    @ Mr K. There is a massive difference between playing football with a head scarf and playing with no clothes on. Playing with no clothes on is getting your way (expressing your culture) at the expense of others who's cultures find nakedness awkward. Playing in a head scarf makes absolutely no difference to the lives of anyone watching (or at least it shouldn't make a difference).

  • Brandon - 2010-05-19 09:27

    Theres no ways we should allow islamic law to interfere with a ruling made by fifa. Play the game by the rules set not by what suites you.

  • pages:
  • 1