FIFA: Let Them Play!
The Iranian women’s soccer team has been forced to choose between their faith and football. In early June, the team was disqualified for showing up in their traditional tracksuits and hijabs for their match against Jordan. As a result, the Jordan team was granted 3-0 forfeit victory and the Iranian team’s Olympic aspirations for the the 2012 London games were crushed.
The Iranian players and officials were told that they violated FIFA rules that state, “Players and officials shall not display political, religious, commercial, or personal messages or slogans in any language or form on their playing or team kits.” The team was also informed that FIFA banned the hijab in 2007, claiming that it could cause choking injuries. The players and officials tearfully objected saying that they had already received assurances from FIFA that the uniforms were in compliance. They had even played preliminary rounds without any objections from FIFA’s president, Sepp Blatter. Their uniforms do not pose a risk to the players and their coverings do not make any religious or political statements.