Saturday, 10 March 2012

Hijab Ban in International Football Lifted

A number of newspapers are reporting on the International Football Association Board's decision to lift the ban on hijab for female football players:

The Independent (4 March 2012):
The International Football Association Board, world soccer's rule-making body, unanimously agreed to overturn a ban on the headscarf at its meeting in Surrey yesterday.

But it took the intervention of a Jordanian prince, Premier League footballers – and a new Velcro-based design – to convince the guardians of the game that Islamic women should be granted their wish. It is expected they will be able to wear the hijab while playing once the decision has been ratified in July. the ban was introduced in 2007.

The new design, fastened with Velcro instead of pins, persuaded Fifa that safety was no longer an issue, bringing soccer in line with rugby and track and field events.

The Huffington Post (3 March 2012):
Observant Muslim women's soccer players won a first victory on Saturday with the International Football Association Board's (IFAB) decision to allow the players to test specially designed headscarves for the next four months.

The Guardian (3 March 2012):
IFAB, which comprises four representatives from the world governing body FIFA and four from the British associations, also agreed in principle to overturn the decision they took in 2007 and will now allow Islamic women footballers to wear a hijab, or headscarf, when they play.

The hijab decision, taken after a presentation to the Board by FIFA executive committee member Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, was agreed by all eight members and will also be subject to further testing with a view to a final decision on July 2.

"I am deeply grateful that the proposal to allow women to wear the headscarf was unanimously endorsed by all members of IFAB," Prince Ali said.
"I welcome their decision for an accelerated process to further test the current design and I'm confident that once the final ratification at the sepcial meeting of IFAB takes place, we will see many delighted and happy players returning to the field and playing the game they love."

image source


  1. I don't see how this can be seen as positive Islam when a muslim woman would think that it is OK to be playing football in public whether she is covering her hair or not. Covering of the hair alone whilst still wearing shorts or tracksuits is not hijab. I think this is sending a confusing message to those not quite sure of what constitutes hijab.

  2. Salaam,
    A personal viewpoint I guess, but I don't see anything wrong in Muslim women who are strong, active and acheiving and g against the usual stereotypes.
    Also, if you have ever had anyone unreasonably stop you from doing something or treat you differently because you wear hijab, it can be incredibly hurtful, so I am happy for these women that the decision has been reversed.