Apr 13 2010
Iran is fighting the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) over a ruling that bans Iran’s girls’ soccer team from participation in Olympic competitions if they refuse to remove their Islamic headscarves.
The hijab scarf — worn by girls and women to observe Islamic dress code — was not allowed under FIFA rules relating to on-field equipment, the Asian Football Confederation said. Iran’s national Olympic committee had urged soccer’s international ruling body and the International Olympic Committee to review the ban.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke rejected the Iranian Olympic panel’s request in a letter to the national soccer federation. He said the FIFA executive committee had “no choice but to take the decision.” FIFA maintains that soccer’s international rulebook contains a section on player equipment, stating that “basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements.” LA TIMES
But this is the interesting part. Look at what the Left Wing psychopaths have to say about this: ‘FIFA makes its “Islamophobia” official and bans Iranian women from donning the hijab.’
So-called leftie “feminists” FROM A LEFT WING defend a Muslim woman’s right to be oppressed by men, not to mention supporting the totalitarian Iranian regime.
FIFA has declared that Iran can’t enter its women’s team into this August’s Youth Olympic Games if its athletes play in headscarves. Iran’s football association is calling for international protest – quite rightly.
This decision comes from the International Football Association Board, which is made up of representatives of the four UK Football Associations (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) and FIFA, which itself has four votes in these decisions. One can imagine what that boardroom looks like – Sith Lords of Soccer, Imperial Experts in Sexism and Islamophobia.
In making this ruling, the IFAB is hiding behind Rule 4, regarding player equipment. This is an arbitrary interpretation and application of FIFA’s rules against wearing uniforms with personal political or religious statements (“compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements”). Obviously, national uniforms frequently carry both political and religious meaning (Israel, anyone?). We often watch players cross themselves furiously before taking penalties – why not ban that gesture from the pitch? The demand that these women either remove their headscarves or withdraw from the competition is itself a strong statement about religion and politics.
This ruling is yet another instance of imperialist and patriarchal meddling and it betrays the shallowness of FIFA’s investment in developing the international women’s game, as well as the profound hypocrisy of FIFA’s pretence to being “above” politics. At least now they’ve made their Islamophobia official.
This seems like a fine moment to recall Sepp Blatter’s most famous statement about the women’s game: “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts.” Fuck that. I’ll take headscarves and lime green tracksuits over that bullshit anyday.
Quebec’s Soccer Association does ban the hijab as part of a broad ban against “the Islamic veil or any other religious item.” Which is I guess a safety issue in a world that imagines a terrorist under every turban, and behind every veil. Her team and four others withdrew from the tournament in support (“Hijab debate gets political in Canada”)
RELATED STORIES: Women