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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Iran writes to FIFA over ban on women’s football team
Tehran Times Sports Desk
TEHRAN - Head of the Iran Football Federation (IFF) wrote a protest letter to FIFA over its decision to deny Iran women's football team to play a 2012 Olympics qualifier in Jordan because of the players' Islamic dress code.
“Iran’s women team took part in the Olympic qualifier according to FIFA rules. FIFA commissioner’s decision to bar the Iranian team is not logical,” Ali Kaffashian wrote in a letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Iran had the same problem at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore but the Iranian officials resolved the issue.
FIFA cancelled Friday's game in Amman and declared Jordan 3-0 winners after the Iranian authorities did not allow their players to remove the headscarves and track suits.
“FIFA’s decision in March 2010 which permitted that the players be allowed to wear a cap that covers their head to the hairline, but does not extend below the ears to cover the neck, was still applicable,” FIFA had said in an e-mail to Reuters news agency.
FIFA went on to say that despite initial assurances that the Iranian delegation understood this, the players came out wearing the hijab, and the head and neck totally covered, which was an infringement of the Laws of the Game.
In Tehran, the head of women’s affairs at Iran football federation said Iran had made changes to its women’s kit after a FIFA ban last year and believed it had been given the approval of the world federation and its president, Sepp Blatter.
“We made the required corrections and played a match afterwards,” Farideh Shojaei told Reuters TV in an interview.
“We played the next round and were not prevented from doing so, and they didn’t find anything wrong. That meant that there are no obstacles in our path, and that we could participate in the Olympics.”