On July 6th, FIFA, Soccer’s decision governing body, overturned its ban on the female headscarf or hijab.
The ban, which was imposed on the grounds of safety concerns, was lifted partially due to the development of a more safe and standard design that includes velcro, should the hijab be pulled from the head during play.
Last year, Prince Ali of Jordan, vice president of FIFA, led a campaign to ensure female soccer players’ rights to don the hijab, which is worn as part of the players’ uniforms in Saudia Arabia and Iran.
This is good news for competitive, hijab wearing athletes who felt punished for wearing hijab. As Sheikha Naima al-Sabah, the president of the women’s sporting committee for Kuwait’s football federation, told one news agency:
“It brings justice to female players. Its positive impact will be direct on women’s enthusiasm to play football.”
FIFA’s decision is “going to promote women’s sport in Arab and Islamic countries, which have top-notch soccer players who are unable to compete because of the veil ban”, said Adel Marzouq, coach of the women’s football team from Bahrain.
“This wise decision will encourage footballers to play their chosen sport without embarrassment,” he added.