Iran: FIFA’s headscarf ban ‘inhumane’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described FIFA as

”colonialists” on Tuesday for a headscarf ban in football that

affect its women’s team.

Mustafa Musleh Zadeh, Iran’s ambassador to Jordan, went further

by saying the ban was ”inhumane” and ”politically


The remarks by Ahmadinejad were the highest since the team

forfeited a 2012 Olympic qualifier against Jordan last Friday

because it wouldn’t play without the hijabs.

”Theses are the dictators and colonialists who want to impose

their lifestyle on others,” Ahmadinejad said in a seasonal news


The Iran president said he’d assigned Ali Saeedlu, the head of

Iran’s physical education, to pursue the case.

”We will deal with those who carried out this ugly job,” said

Ahmadinejad. ”We follow definite rights of our girls.”

Zadeh said Iran would complain to the Asian Football


FIFA said the ban on the Islamic scarf covering a women’s neck

was for safety reasons.

The ambassador called FIFA’s ban ”extremism,” similar to

Afghanistan’s Taliban restrictions on women in sports.

FIFA banned the hijab in 2007 and has extended the safety rule

to include neck warmers.

At the 2010 Youth Olympics, Iran’s girls protected their modesty

by covering their hair with specially designed caps.