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Iran resolve headscarf ban
Women's football team can play at Youth Games after Fifa accept headscarf compromise.
Last Modified: 03 May 2010 12:10 GMT
Iran fans will be able to watch their women's team at the Youth Games [GALLO/GETTY]

The Iranian girls football team have been told they will be allowed to compete at the Youth Olympics in August, after the sport's governing body offered them a compromise over their head scarves.

Fifa had originally barred the team from competing in a tournament last month, because of its insistence on wearing scarves, which Fifa say are a safety hazard and a politicial and religious statement – in contravention of its rules.
 
The team – who wear the scarves to protect the modesty of their Islamic players – have now been told they can compete, but only if they swap their scarves for caps which cover their hair.

Iran's football federation said they had sent the proposal to Fifa themselves in an attempt to find middle ground.

"This decision was taken after both the Iran Football Federation as well as the Iran National Olympic Committee confirmed in writing that they will accept a solution whereby the players will not wear their Islamic Hijab during the matches of the competition," Fifa said in a statement on Monday.

"Instead, the players can wear a cap that covers their heads to the hairline, but does not extend below the ears to cover the neck."

Thrilled

Farideh Shojaei, deputy head of Iran's football federation, said the under-15 players were thrilled with the ruling.

"We are very happy. We are hopeful to have a good presence in the coming competitions," Shojaei said.

"We are very happy. The decision has increased the inspiration of our team"

Farideh Shojaei, Iranian football deputy

"The decision has increased the inspiration of our team. They are determined to practise more and more."

The state-run Tehran Times reported that Iranian authorities had consented to allowing the players to wear hats and the team would play at the Youth Olympics.

"We sent Fifa a sample of our new Islamic dress and fortunately they accepted it," said Abbas Torabian, director of the International Relations Committee of Iran Football Federation said.

"They announced that there was no objection if the players covered their hair with hats."

Iran will compete in a six-nation tournament for girls at the Games being held August 12-25 in Singapore.

Around 3,600 athletes aged 14-18 will compete in 26 sports at the inaugural summer Games.

Source:
Agencies
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