• France's news in English

Feminists line up against football veil ruling

Matthew Warren · 20 Mar 2012, 08:33

Published: 20 Mar 2012 08:33 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A number of feminist organisations have criticised a ruling by international football body FIFA that would allow female players to wear veils.

FIFA banned the wearing of veils in a 2007 ruling, citing safety concerns.

A decision in early March permitted the testing of specially designed head covering for four months. The new headscarves will be fastened with velcro rather than pins. A final decision will be taken on July 2nd. 

Such a move would be a "backward step", according to feminist group "Ni Putes Ni Soumises" ("Neither whores nor submissive").

"We hope FIFA doesn't take this decision," said the group's president, Asma Guefini, reported in French daily Le Monde. "It would be a backward step for women."

Some suspect influence is being wielded on the matter by Qatar, which will host the football World Cup in 2022.

"We can see the influence of prince Ali Bin al Hussein, who is one of the vice presidents of FIFA and, of course, of Qatar," said an anonymous source reported by the newspaper.

In December a number of women's organisations wrote an open letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter to demand the ban on the veil be kept in place.

These included the international women's rights groups Ligue Internationale des Femmes, Femix'sports and Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes (CLEF).

France has a ban on the wearing of religious symbols in the country's schools, often referred to as the "headscarf ban", although it applies to all religious items.

However, the ban does not apply to sporting events, unless they are in school.

On Sunday, a referee refused to officiate a women's football match when players for one of the teams took to the pitch wearing headscarves.

The incident involved players from two southwestern teams, Petit-Bard Montpellier and Narbonne.

The Langeudoc-Roussillon league must now decide whether to order the match to be replayed.

The headscarf ban in global football has provoked controversy and calls for the rule to be changed.

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


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2012-05-24 16:49:03 by furbian
As a Muslim from the across the channel, France look like a hellish place for any Muslim to live in, packed to the brim full of racists. If my family were in France, it would seem that my daughter would be banned from college, my mother arrested, simply because of what THEY CHOOSE to wear. Oh and for the odd occasion when the local mosque overfills and we pray in the side alley, that too is banned. As British Muslims we have issues too, but nothing like these. I doubt putting a picture of a woman in a 'niqab' as opposed to a headscarf is a an error, it look quite deliberate judging by the tone of the article, and the hatred for all things Muslim that appears to exist in the French media. I only landed her due to Google news, and probably won't be visiting this site any-time soon.
2012-04-08 18:23:46 by Ahmad
That's not a photo of a veil. It's a photo of a Burqa. The veil covers the hair only, not the face. You were either too lazy to look for a proper photo or were intentionally misleading. Just a thought.
2012-04-07 09:02:38 by david
Just to set the record straight, headscarves is what they wore, not veils.
Today's headlines
France’s 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

French cheer police, reviving Charlie spirit
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available