Iranian women soccer players rejected FIFA’s customized headwear and insisted on donning the traditional hijab for a match against Jordan.
Their insistence on not following FIFA’s dress code gave the team they were supposed to play against, Jordan, an easy win.
According to FIFA’s article 4, players are not allowed to wear clothes representative of religious and political symbols, and can penalize players for doing so.
Despite shunning religious symbols, FIFA accommodates Muslim women and gives them the choice of wearing long pants instead of shorts.
Last summer in a youth tournament in Singapore, the Iranian female players welcomed FIFA’s accommodation by covering their head but not their ears or necks, a step that was in contrast with the latest incident.
The Iran-Jordan game was part of a competition for the second round for Asian teams to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2012 in London.
Besides Iran, Jordan is expected to play Vietnam, Thailand and Uzbekistan in the qualifying games for the 2012 Olympics.
(Dina Al-Shibeeb, a senior editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: email@example.com)