Iran players keep hijab on, FIFA cancels qualifying match

Jordan gets easy victory over Iran after soccer match canceled; Iranian football head says FIFA was informed women would wear hijab.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 5, 2011 14:51
1 minute read.
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hijab cairo women arab 311. (photo credit: Ruth Eglash)

 
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Iran gave Jordan an easy win Friday in the soccer qualifying games for the 2012 Olympics, but the Jordanian victory had nothing to do with the game itself.

Instead, ruling soccer body FIFA canceled Friday's game in Amman and declared Jordan 3-0 winners after the Iranian authorities refused to allow their players to remove their full headscarves in accordance with the FIFA dress code.

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FIFA's article 4 says that players are not allowed to wear religiously or politically associated clothing.

Sportswomen from Iran are required by law to adorn the hijab even in international competitions.

According to a DPA report, Iranian Football Federation head Ali Kafshian had informed FIFA prior to Friday's match that the girls would be required to maintain their modest dress.

Kafshian told Iranian state television that Iran had appealed the FIFA decision, and will file an official complaint against the international soccer body.

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In Iran, despite soccer's popularity amongst women, only men are allowed to attend soccer matches.

Even though Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said women were allowed to enter stadiums, clergy and local officials believe that the male-dominated environment at the stadiums, and often vulgar language of soccer patrons, were not appropriate for female fans.

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