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Iranian Women's Team Banned From Olympic Qualifier Over Headscarves

Iran's women's soccer team finds themselves in danger of failing to qualify for the 2012 Olympics after FIFA has banned them from playing with headscarves.

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Iranian Women's Team Banned From Olympic Qualifier Over Headscarves

The Iranian football federation (FFIRI) is protesting a controversial decision by FIFA to ban their women's team from playing an Olympic qualifying match against Jordan due to a supposed violation of the dress code. As Iran have to adhere to Islamic dress, their uniforms include headscarves to cover their hair, which FIFA had originally approved before doing an abrupt u-turn moments before the match in Amman, barring Iran from participating and awarding Jordan a 3-0 win. Farideh Shojae, head of women's affairs at the FFIRI, was baffled by the move:

[The Iran football federation chief Ali] Kafashian took it to Fifa and showed it to Sepp Blatter. And they proved that this conduct conforms to the fourth article of the Fifa constitution, which says [a kit should be] devoid of politics or religion. In reality, this kit is neither religious, nor political, nor will it lead to harm a player. They proved this, and Sepp Blatter accepted this and we participated in the Olympics.

This is a ridiculous move by FIFA, and significantly more offensive than the charges of corruption levelled at them last week. Guess what the media will spend more of its time focusing on?

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