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FIFA: We had to eliminate Iran girls' football team

Source: Mehr News Agency

FIFA stated in a letter to Iran Football Federation (IFF) that they had no choice but to disallow Iran girls' football team from participating in the 2010 Asian Youth Olympic Games.

file photo

FIFA banned the team because prevailing rules prevented players from wearing an Islamic headscarf.

The Asian Football Confederation said in a statement on Monday, "FIFA decided that wearing hijab (Islamic covering) is not in accordance with game regulations."

FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke stated in a letter to the Iran Football Federation, "Taking into consideration the clear position stated by (the Olympic committee of) Iran, the FIFA executive committee had no choice other than to decide that Iran will not be able to participate.'

FIFA's international rulebook contains a section on players' onfield equipment and attire. One provision under Article 4 requires "Basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements."

This is the second time within a year that the issue of athletes donning hijab has cropped up in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Blacktown District Soccer Football Association Jack Taylor told 2UE Radio that he did not expect any Sydney football associations to comply with the ruling if FIFA chose to impose it.

"I couldn't see any association, certainly in Sydney - and I know most of them - I can't see us implementing it," he said.

He stated, "You can't make political statements ... but I don't see the hijab as a political statement."

"What are they [the FIFA] going to do?" he said.

... Payvand News - 04/07/10 ... --

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