The FIFA permits the wearing of the headscarf; the wrath of French football

March 1, 2014

 

The option to wear the headscarf or turban has officially been approved within the practice of football, the FIFA announced on March 1st. At the request of certain Muslim countries, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which handles legal aspects of football, had agreed to a tentative trial allowing the headscarf on strict conditions two years ago. The headscarf question had become more prominent in recent years, with Iran having gone as far as pressing charges against the FIFA because its female players, prevented from covering their heads, had to forgo the London Olympics in 2012.

 

The French president of the FIFA, Jerome Valcke, said during a press conference that a trial had been undertaken and ‘a decision has been made: female players can have their heads covered while playing.’ The Board saw no valid reasons to ban it if strict conditions are met. The headscarf must be tightly fitted around the player’s head, be coordinated with the player’s uniform, not be attached to the maillot, must not have any loose parts, and must not constitute a danger to the player nor to others.

 

However, if the new authorization of head-coverings is valid for the whole world, it does not mean that it will be applied everywhere.

 

Two years ago, the Federation Francaise du Football (FFF) had  banned its players from wearing the headscarf, ‘in order to respect the constitutional precepts of secularism’ in France. The FFF reiterated that the principle of secularism remained valid including in regards to the participation of French selections in international competitions, and upheld the prohibition on all religious signs in the country.

 

The President of the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), Frederic Thiriez, deplored the ruling as a ‘grave mistake.’ ‘I regret the decision of the FIFA which undermines the principal of universality of football in which all players, male and female, are supposed to be subject to the same rules and match conditions. Whereas the Olympic chart bans all religious symbols, this decision goes against women rights and threatens the neutrality of football that is safe from religious and political conflict.’

 

Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/sport/article/2014/03/01/la-fifa-autorise-le-port-du-voile-colere-du-foot-francais_4376137_3242.html

The Dark Side, Carefully Masked

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On the day after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tapped out an early-afternoon text message to a classmate at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Want to hang out? he queried. Sure, his friend replied.

In Boston, the police and the F.B.I. were mounting investigations that would end three days later with Mr. Tsarnaev’s capture and his brother’s death. But on that Tuesday afternoon, he lounged in his friend’s apartment for a couple of hours, trying to best him in FIFA Soccer on a PlayStation. That night, he worked out at a campus gym.

On Thursday afternoon, he ate with friends at a dormitory grill. By early Friday, he was the target of the largest dragnet in Massachusetts history.

To even his closest friends, Mr. Tsarnaev was a smart, athletic 19-year-old with a barbed wit and a laid-back demeanor, fond of soccer and parties, all too fond of marijuana. They seldom, if ever, saw his second, almost watertight life: his disintegrating family, his overbearing brother, the gathering blackness in his most private moments.

There were glimpses. But Mr. Tsarnaev was a master of concealment. “I have had almost two weeks to think about it, and it still makes no more sense than the day I found out it was him,” Jason Rowe, Mr. Tsarnaev’s freshman roommate, said in an interview. “Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.”

Mr. Tsarnaev was a skilled deflector of curiosity about his personal affairs. He rarely talked about his background except to say that he was Chechen or had lived in Russia. He was popular — “he had a lot of girls hitting on him,” said Junes Umarov, 18, a close friend who is also of Chechen descent — but even other close friends could not say whether he had a girlfriend. Almost no one knew anything about his family beyond a few brief sightings of his older brother, Tamerlan.

A second Chechen friend since boyhood, 18-year-old Baudy Mazaev, said that the older brother and their mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, “had a deep religious epiphany” about two or three years ago. At the time, Tamerlan’s new devotion only irritated Dzhokhar, he said.

He gained American citizenship on Sept. 11, 2012, “and he was pretty excited about it,” said his first-year dorm mate, Mr. Rowe. Yet the previous March, he had written “a decade in america already, I want out,” followed in April by “how I miss my homeland #dagestan #chechnya.” And days before his citizenship ceremony, he expressed wonder at why more people did not realize that the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center “was an inside job.”

FIFA considering sports hijab created by Montreal woman

The Globe and Mail – May 2, 2012

The idea for Montrealer Elham Seyed Javad’s sports hijab was born during the acrimony of Quebec’s reasonable accommodation debate. Now, it could become the debate’s global contribution to soccer.

The Montrealer’s prototype has already picked up praise, raising the possibility the Canadian-made creation could ease the way for Muslim women to participate in the world’s most popular sport.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, elected a vice-president at FIFA last year, began spearheading a campaign to reverse the organization’s 2007 ban on the headscarf, which it considers a safety concern during games. When she heard about it, Ms. Seyed Javad contacted the Jordanian royal. FIFA is seeking a headscarf that opens easily if it’s pulled, to prevent choking. A design presented to FIFA by a Dutch company uses Velcro to fasten the hijab; Ms. Seyed Javad’s design, the ResportOn Pro Release, uses lightweight magnets. If approved, the change would impact the lives of thousands of Muslim women, from elite national players to girls in community leagues in Canada and elsewhere.

French women’s soccer match called off over hijab

March 19, 2012

A referee refused to officiate a French women’s football match, when players for one of the teams took the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said. The official sent a report to the Languedoc-Roussillon league in the south of the country about the incident involving players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in the regional promotion tie. The league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed or to award a win to Narbonne.

Football’s world governing body FIFA banned players from wearing the Islamic headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe. But football federations and even the United Nations have urged FIFA to lift the ban, maintaining that concerns about safety are baseless and that it discriminates against Muslim players, particularly when no such restrictions apply in other sports.

Dutch Headscarf Design for FIFA Players

5 March 2012

A design by Cindy van de Bremen has been selected for wear by female FIFA football players. The design is van den Bremen’s final college project, marketed under the name ‘Capster’s’, and provides an alternative to traditional hijab styles during play. Football association FIFA has decided to drop its 2007 ban on headscarves for female players, and from July women will be able to wear hijab during football matches.

Photo by Peter Stitger for Capsters.com

Soccer group agrees to test hijabs for female players

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.

The headscarf prohibition has generated controversy among fans of the world’s most popular team sport, especially in Muslim countries in Africa, the Middle East and central Asia.

In Canada, Quebec’s Lac St. Louis Regional Soccer Association barred a referee from a game in 2011 because she wore a headscarf, citing prohibitions against religious symbols on uniforms. During a 2007 youth tournament in Quebec, a Muslim player was ejected from a game for wearing a headscarf.

Quebec teen told she cannot referee and wear her hijab

News Agencies – June 21, 2011

A Quebec teen has been told she can no longer referee soccer while wearing her hijab. Sarah Benkirane, 15, said her Montreal-area soccer association informed her she could no longer referee games wearing her traditional Muslim headscarf after someone filed a complaint with the league. Benkirane said she’s contacted the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations and plans to put pressure on the Canadian Soccer Association to force Quebec’s governing soccer body to overturn its decision.
The president of the Quebec Soccer Federation told reporters it is simply applying FIFA’s international rules, which stipulate referees and players may not wear religious symbols on the pitch. In 2007, an 11-year-old Ottawa girl was ejected from a soccer game in Laval after she refused to remove her hijab, which violated FIFA’s no-headgear rule.

Rule against hijab stands: world soccer body

The F_d_ration Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, during its annual general meeting in Manchester, England, upheld its regulation against hijabs. FIFA’s prohibition became a point of public controversy after 11-year-old Ottawa soccer player Asmahan Mansour was ejected on February 25 from a tournament game by a referee.