Jordan's new FIFA VP seeks to address hijab ban

AFP, Tuesday 7 Jun 2011

FIFA vice president Prince Ali of Jordan said on Tuesday he will raise with world and Asian football bodies a ban on Iran's women team over their traditional Islamic headscarf

Iranian women football
Iranian women's national football team walking to the pitch before withdrawing from their qualifying match against Jordan for the 2012 London Olympic Games in Amman (Photo: Reuters)

"This is an important issue that I will raise with the Asian Football Confederation and with the International Federation of Association Football. We will work together to find a solution that respects the rules of the game and the culture at the same time," Ali, King Abdullah's half brother, told AFP.

"Football is about fair play and respect and I am confident that we can resolve this issue," said the new FIFA vice president who took office on Wednesday.

Iranian media reports said on Monday Tehran plans to lodge a formal complaint with FIFA after its women's team were barred on Friday from playing in an Olympic qualifier against Jordan for wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf.

"I am a firm supporter of women's football and I am keen on addressing all related issues to ensure that all girls and women can play this beautiful game across the continent," said Prince Ali.

Jordanian news reports have said "tough penalties are awaiting Iran's team" after they refused to remove the hijab.

The mandatory Islamic dress code observed in Iran requires all women to cover their body, head to toe. In order to be allowed to function domestically and compete internationally, the women football team play in full tracksuits, headscarves and neck warmers.

The world football governing body banned Iranian women from competing last April due to their plans to wear headscarves in matches, forcing the team to adjust its dressing, which was reportedly accepted by FIFA.

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