Tag Archives: hijab

FIFA vs. Iran: Can Athletes Wear Hijab?

The Iranian women’s soccer team has dropped out of qualifying for the 2012 Olympics after being informed by FIFA officials that its players may not wear head coverings while playing, ostensibly because of the risk of “choking injuries.” It’s a ridiculous decision from a ridiculous federation–one must wonder if Sepp Blatter is stirring up confrontation with one corrupt authoritarian regime in order to distract from his own. As The Nation‘s Dave Zirin correctly points out, Mr. Blatter is hardly out to protect the safety of women:

. . . For years, human rights organizations have asked Blatter to take a stand and say something about the horrific influx of sex-slave trafficking that accompanies the arrival of the World Cup. Blatter’s cold response, “Prostitution and trafficking of women does not fall within the sphere of responsibility of an international sports federation but in that of the authorities and the lawmakers of any given country.”

However, the reaction to the decision has itself been problematic. Zirin, quoting Alyssa Rosenberg:

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