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Photos: Iranian Women National Team's Dreams Shattered Over Hijab Ban

06/06/11 Photos by Mehdi Tootoonchi, Mehr News Agency

Amman, Jordan -- Olympic dreams of Iranian women national team came to an end when they were prevented from playing against Jordan in a qualifier match because team members were wearing head covers.

According to Ali Kafashian, the head of Iran's football federation, Iranian officials had already held discussion with the president of FIFA about the participation of Iranian women in matches with full Islamic hijab. However, the Bahraini official in charge of the match refused to let the Iranian team play.

Iranian national team players protested the ban by reciting Iran's national anthem, running a lap in the stadium and then praying against Iran's flag. They then left the stadium with tearful eyes.

According to Mehr News Agency, Jordanian players along with the spectators present at the stadium cheered for the Iranian team and displayed their support for them.

Iran's Football Federation has pledged to lodge an official protest in FIFA for prohibiting the Iranian team from playing their match.

Related Story:

FIFA rejects Iran complaint over Islamic scarf ban - Iranian officials were "informed thoroughly" before Friday's match against Jordan that the hijab scarf covering a women's neck is banned for safety reasons, FIFA says. FIFA banned the hijab in 2007 and has extended the safety rule to include neck warmers.

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