French women's match called off over headscarves

By AFP
Published: March 19, 2012

Football's world governing body FIFA banned players from wearing the headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

NARBONNE: A referee on Sunday refused to officiate a French women’s football match, when players for one of the teams took the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said.

The official sent a report to the Languedoc-Roussillon league in the south of the country about the incident involving players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in the regional promotion tie.

The league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed or to award a win to Narbonne.

The two teams played a friendly match instead, with Narbonne winning 7-6.

Football’s world governing body FIFA banned players from wearing the headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe.

But football federations and even the United Nations have urged FIFA to lift the ban, maintaining that concerns about safety are baseless and that it discriminates against Muslim players, particularly when no such restrictions apply in other sports.

Iran’s women’s team last year forfeited a 2012 Olympic qualifier because players wouldn’t play without wearing hijabs.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Mar 19, 2012 - 11:00AM

    FIFA. This is 2012 and not 2007. At that time, head coverings might not have been safe because the head and neck portion of clothing were not independent which could have led to snapping of neck. Now, various forms of head gear allay your fears for personal injury. Do away with the ban please.

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  • SalSal
    Mar 19, 2012 - 12:33PM

    And they call themselves tolerant

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  • unknown
    Mar 19, 2012 - 1:55PM

    Is there any religious or cultural liberty in France especially for Muslims. Please tell me.

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  • ZYX
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:09PM

    Where r all the bayghayrat liberals now? How come they’re not screaming about intolerance now? How come this doesn’t make it to the top of the page like all those other ‘minority oppression’ themed articles? Do you give prominence only when Muslims are the bad guys? ET…you really suck

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  • Harry Stone
    Mar 19, 2012 - 2:17PM

    @SalSal:

    As compared to who…………PAK? I believe this match was played in France…………

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:35PM

    Provocative behavior seeking at it’s attention seeking best!!

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:37PM

    What if the Indian mens team want to play with a langoti or if chinese team wants to wear a Huafu or Japanese the kimono?

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  • Rameez
    Mar 19, 2012 - 3:50PM

    wait!! how are these head-scarves unsafe?

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  • Tehniat
    Mar 19, 2012 - 5:42PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk….Langoti, Huafu and Kimono…they all are NOT worn on the head…you really need to grow up. Besides these dresses do not hold religious importance for the Hindus, Chinese and the Japenese.They are rather traditional and cultural!

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  • Umer
    Mar 19, 2012 - 7:58PM

    @Tehniat:

    Besides these dresses do not hold
    religious importance for the Hindus,
    Chinese and the Japenese.

    How do you know that? Are you Hindu, Chinese or Japanese? Religious leaders of these cultures do tend to wear such cloths.

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  • Jan
    Mar 19, 2012 - 11:29PM

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    What about a Sikh wearing a turban! That is allowed….; right? So why no headscarfs…..

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Mar 20, 2012 - 10:37AM

    @Tehniat:

    @Yuri Kondratyuk….Langoti, Huafu and
    Kimono…they all are NOT worn on the
    head…you really need to grow up.

    May I ask why you want to discriminate against clothes not worn on head?

    Besides these dresses do not hold
    religious importance for the Hindus,
    Chinese and the Japenese.They are
    rather traditional and cultural!

    For most Asian countries, the religion has its roots in their own culture. Besides, why do you want to discriminate against culture and traditions by placing them below religion?

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  • renata
    Mar 21, 2012 - 11:02PM

    There’s a limit to religious freedom, and there’s a limit to what can be and should be tolerated. Veil is not just a piece of cloth, it’s a mindset, a very poisonous one. If France tolerates veil, veil shall not tolerate France, hence it’s better to nip the evil in the bud. Otherwise France will one day look like present day Pakistan or Afghanistan or even worse.

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  • VK
    Mar 23, 2012 - 7:09AM

    Simple thing, if u cant abide by rule just dont play… why to mix ur religion with sports… there is no room for fanatics in games … just clear off the field

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