FRENCH referee refused to officiate at a women’s soccer match because of Muslim players wearing headbags

A referee on Sunday refused to officiate a French women’s soccer match, when players for one of the teams took the pitch wearing Muslim headbags.

TRIBUNE  The official sent a report to the Languedoc-Roussillon league in the south of the country about the incident involving players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in the regional promotion tie.

The league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed or to award a win to Narbonne. Football’s world governing body FIFA banned players from wearing the headbag in 2007, claiming it is unsafe.

But football federations and even the United Nations have urged FIFA to lift the ban, maintaining that concerns about safety are baseless and that it discriminates against Muslim players, particularly when no such restrictions apply in other sports.

Iran’s women’s team last year forfeited a 2012 Olympic qualifier because players wouldn’t play without wearing hijabs (headbags).