I knew this day would come. I have something upon which I agree with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranians are justifiably upset over the disqualification of their women’s soccer team in the 2012 London Olympics. The reason is the inclusion of an Islamic headscarf in their uniform by the international soccer association, FIFA.
I would understand if the fuss was over the mandatory requirement of a head covering for players who do not want to wear the headscarf. However, the FIFA is saying that it is due to safety. I find that claim a bit hard to accept and the rule effectively bars many Muslim women from competing. In this case, the team lost to Jordan without ever playing.
Iranian women athletes are already effectively barred from swimming and gymnastics due to their need to cover their bodies. Most such sports, however, do not have a specific bar on headscarves or body coverings. In my view, if an Iranian woman wants to try to win in a swimming burkini, so be it.
This is a relatively new rule from FIFA, announced in April 2010. Notably, it bans not just headscarves but other religious items.
The Iranian headscarves shown in the picture with the article below are specially made and remind me of the headgear worn by the Fabulous Face leadership in “In Like Flint.”
Source: Washington Post