A referee on Sunday refused to officiate a women's football match, when players for one of the teams took to the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said.

"/> A referee on Sunday refused to officiate a women's football match, when players for one of the teams took to the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said.

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FOOTBALL

Women’s match called off over headscarves

A referee on Sunday refused to officiate a women's football match, when players for one of the teams took to the pitch wearing Muslim headscarves, the club involved said.

Women's match called off over headscarves
Glenn R Carter

The official sent a report to the Languedoc-Roussillon league in the south of the country about the incident involving players from Petit-Bard Montpellier, who had been due to play Narbonne in the regional promotion tie.

The league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed or to award a win to Narbonne.

The two teams played a friendly match instead, with Narbonne winning 7-6.

Football’s world governing body FIFA banned players from wearing the Islamic headscarf in 2007, claiming it is unsafe.

But football federations and even the United Nations have urged FIFA to lift the ban, maintaining that concerns about safety are baseless and that it discriminates against Muslim players, particularly when no such restrictions apply in other sports.

Iran’s women’s team last year forfeited a 2012 Olympic qualifier because players wouldn’t play without wearing hijabs.

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FOOTBALL

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

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