The Asian Football Confederation and its representatives including Acting Chief and FIFA Executive Zhang Jilong are calling upon the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to lift the ban on the Islamic headscarves, the hijabs, on the playing field for women’s football. This call comes as the IFAB plans to make a decision in mid-March concerning the ban.
The hijab was banned by FIFA back in 2007. The international football federation cited possible strangulation hazards as a primary reason for the hijab ban.
Of course, FIFA’s ban was met with swift criticism and protest by the Islamic world and other countries along with female players who refused to play the sport if they were not to wear the hijabs.
The reaction forced FIFA to put in a proposal to the IFAB which considers getting rid of the ban.
Zhang Jilong stated,
“I would like to request the IFAB to favorably consider FIFA’s proposal and review the rule and allow women players to play wearing a safe headscarf that covers the neck.”
Jilong also added that he personally saw the “new designs with a Velcro joined at the neck, which releases if the headscarf is pulled, ensuring the player’s safety.”
Besides hijabs, other head wear including neck warmers, scarves and snoods were banned from the playing field by FIFA in 2011 due to safety concerns.