FIFA takes first step towards lifting hijab ban for Muslim women soccer players

File this one as a win!

Muslim female soccer players are celebrating a decision by the International Football Association Board to allow them to test specially designed head coverings for four months.

Soccer’s international governing body, known as FIFA, has prohibited headscarves since 2007, citing safety concerns. The new headscarves will be fastened with Velcro rather than pins.

As you may remember, thanks to the ban on veiling, Iran’s women’s soccer team was effectively banned from participating in the next Olympics. That prompted Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who is a vice president of FIFA, to start pushing for change. A Dutch design successfully convinced FIFA that safety was not an issue.

I’m thrilled to see that there’s one less reason for Muslim women to be prevented from participating in the beautiful game. As women’s soccer in the U.S. continues to face financial struggles, this is a good reminder that sports are, above all, about playing and everyone should have the right to play.

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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