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.