Jul 29 2012
A Saudi Arabian judo competitor, one of the first two female athletes sent to the Olympics by the conservative kingdom, will withdraw if she is not allowed to wear her hijab or headbag, during bouts, her father was quoted as saying.
Reuters (H/T Susan K) Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani is due to compete in the +78 kg judo category on Friday. A Saudi official said earlier this month its female athletes would have to obey Islamic dress codes. But last week, International Judo Federation (IJF) president Marius Vizer said Shaherkani would have to fight without a headscarf to comply with “the principle and spirit of judo.”
Sunday’s edition of Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan newspaper quoted the father, Ali Shaherkani, as saying over the telephone from Britain that his daughter “will not compete in the Judo Games on Aug. 3 if the committee insists that she removes her hijab.”