Swiss basketball association forbids Muslim headscarf

The Swiss basketball association has told a Muslim player she can't wear a headscarf during league games. Sura Al-Shawk, a 19-year-old Swiss citizen of Iraqi origin, is making her debut in a regional women's league when the season starts next month and her team STV Luzern had asked for permission to let her wear the scarf. However, the Swiss association ProBasket said Thursday it follows the rules of world governing body FIBA, which state that the sport has to be neutral, forbidding any religious symbols and headcovers. "If basketball is priority No. 1, international rules have to be respected," ProBasket said according to a report by Swiss daily Neue Luzerner Zeitung. "If religion is priority No. 1, then you cannot play basketball."