Turkey lifts headscarf ban on professional athletes

Headscarf ban that ban had been in effect since 1982 lifted by ministry.

Turkey lifts headscarf ban on professional athletes

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish professional athletes who wish to wear the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, to sporting events will be able to do so in line with a regulation recently adopted by the Youth and Sports Ministry.

Previously, women could not wear a headscarf while engaged in a professional sport and were not able to obtain a professional sports license without removing the headscarf for the requisite photo. In accordance with the new regulation, however, women will able to wear the headscarf while playing any sport professionally in Turkey and in their license photo.

The ban had been in effect since 1982.

The move comes after approval of the use of the headscarf by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), football's ruling body, on July 5. A ban on the use of the headscarf for Muslim women footballers was lifted by the sport's rule-makers.

IFAB unanimously overturned the ban and agreed to rewrite the laws after studying reports by a FIFA medical officer. “Safety and medical issues have been removed for the use of the headscarf and it is approved that players can have the head scarf,” FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke told Reuters.

Last year, the women's soccer team from Iran was prevented from playing their 2012 Olympic second round qualifying match against Jordan because they refused to remove their hijab before kickoff. Iran, which had topped their group in the first round of Olympic qualifiers, was punished with an automatic 3-0 defeat, which abruptly ended their dreams of qualifying for the London games.

Other sports, such as rugby and taekwondo, already allow the use of the hijab.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Aralık 2012, 13:34