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Home » Sport » Football

Asian FC urges rule makers to OK hijab

AFC acting chief Zhang Jilong said in a statement that a favorable decision when the International Football Association Board debates the issue on March 3 in London is crucial to the future of women's soccer worldwide.

"Many women footballers in Asia wear headscarves. I would like to request the IFAB to favorably consider FIFA's proposal and review the rule and allow women players to play wearing a safe headscarf that covers the neck," he said in a statement.

Though FIFA originally banned the hijab or headscarf in 2007 as a possible strangulation hazard, the executive committee of world soccer's governing body agreed in December to put forward a proposal to amend the rules. It was prompted by a presentation from AFC vice president Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan, who called on the IFAB to sanction a Velcro-opening headscarf for players and officials.

FIFA's ban was condemned by Islamic leaders and Iran forfeited a 2012 Olympic women's qualifier against Jordan in June because the players refused to play without the hijabs.

Zhang, who also is also a member of FIFA's executive committee, said several new headscarf designs that ensure player safety were now available.

"I have personally seen the new designs with a Velcro joined at the neck, which releases if the headscarf is pulled, ensuring the player's safety," he said.

While FIFA is soccer's world governing body, the IFAB determines the rules of the game.

The Asian Football Confederation has urged soccer's rule-making body to approve a headscarf with new safety features for use by Islamic female players.


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