The Iranian Football Federation is complaining to world soccer body FIFA against the banning of their women’s soccer team from wearing the traditional Islamic hijab during an Olympic qualifier match against Jordan.
Iranian state-run Press TV reported that the complaint was in response to FIFA’s cancellation of the match in the Jordanian capital of Amman because the Iranian team insisted on wearing the Muslim hijab instead of a head cover that had earlier been agreed with the soccer body.
The head cover agreed upon with FIFA, unlike the hijab, covers only the head but not the neck or ears.
Iran’s insistence on wearing the hijab against Jordan contrasts starkly with its acceptance of the agreed last year in Singapore to play with the agreed head cover.
Jordan was automatically declared the winner of the match as a result of the cancellation.
"We have already held talks with the president of the FIFA about the participation of Iranian women in matches with full Islamic hijab. Unfortunately, however, I do not know why the official in charge of the matches refused to let our team play,” Iranian Football Federation chief Ali Kaffashian said.
FIFA bans players as a matter of principle from wearing religious symbols during matches but makes an exception for Muslim players by accommodating on head cover and long pants instead of shorts.