FIFA Board Agrees With Me – Soccer And Hijabs Don't Mix

Today in Manchester, England, FIFA soccer legislators ruled that a hijab is not allowed under rule 4 of the FIFA succer rules.

An 11 year old soccer player from Ottawa says she hoped her case would make a difference. But now, Asmahan Mansour says she is disappointed following today’s meeting of FIFA soccer legislators in Manchester, England.

A week after she was ordered off the field at a tournament in Montreal for wearing a hijab, Mansour was hoping the International Football Association Board would rule it’s O.K. to wear her headscarf.

However the board states, the issue of a head scarf is covered under rule four of its soccer laws.

The rule says players cannot wear anything that is potentially dangerous to themselves or another player.

This is exactly what I had stated in my blog post earlier today. Rule four does not specifically mention headscarves, but it does have safety guidelines which seem to be the basis for the ruling, and rightfully so.

I can empathize with the young lady who was disallowed from playing, but I played competitive soccer for well over a dozen years and as the father of a soccer player, I know that safety is always of the highest concerns. This decision may not be a popular one, but it is the right one.

Can Soccer And Hijab Mix?

Oh no, not another story about the young lady kicked off the soccer field for wearing a hijab!!!

Wait!! Don’t leave. This one is different.

In every story I have read in the press about Asmahan (Azzy) Mansour, the argument surrounds the religious argument, the safety, and FIFA. We hear about the referee being Muslim. We hear about the rules, and we hear about FIFA letting women wear Hijabs in soccer games in Pakistan and Iran.

But do we even know what the rules are there for and if they apply? The answer to this is no, because no one has ever addressed what a hijab is or how it is worn to see if it constitutes a safety risk.

From FIFA’s own website, the latest rules state:

Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment


* A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery)


The basic compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:

* jersey or shirt;
* shorts – if thermal undershorts are worn; they are of the same colour as the shorts
* stockings;
* shinguards;
* footwear


*A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself/herself or another player
*Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks, knee and arm protectors made of soft, lightweight padded material are not considered dangerous and are therefore permitted

Now my quest was to determine “is wearing a hijab dangerous?” so to do so, I had to see what a hijab is and how it is worn so I did some googling and found a video series put on by The Canadian Muslim. The speaker is clear, articulate, and provides many types of demonstrations on how to wear various kinds of hijabs, oblongs, shaylas, etc.

The two things I noticed about wearing a hijab that had me most concerned are:

a) the pins and b) the wrapping of the hijab around the neck.

There are one or several pins used to keep the hijab in place. Since there is no rule on pins, the only two areas that might address this are the section on Jewellery (which states under no conditions is any jewellery to be worn) and the section on safety. In my mind, the pins alone would be enough to constitute the hijab as a risk to the wearer and, possibly, other players.

The video link below will show you how the hijab is typically worn. I watched both Part I and Part II and for the most part, the hijab is draped over the head with the ends coming under the chin and then being pulled back above the head over the ears (where they are pinned, or they can be draped over the shoulder. In addressing the positions, I came to the conclusion that each and every way the hijab was worn, there is a risk of a third party grabbing it in a way that would create a choking hazard.

In light of these two reasons, I would, personally, say that the hijab should not be worn on the soccer field AS IT IS TRADITIONALLY WORN. Note the emphasis. If there is a style of hijab or a way to wear it that does not use pins, or if there is a way for it to fall apart with absolutely no risk of choking, my view would change. But from what I have seen, I do believe they constitute a safety risk and should not be allowed on soccer fields.

I hope this article sparks someone to develop an “athletic hijab” the way others have developed athletic shoes, athletic bras, athletic socks, etc.

You can see “How to wear a hijab: Part I” by clicking Here.
You can see “How to wear a hijab: Part II” by clicking Here.

Turning Men Into Women

manleggingsMark Steyn points out in his book America Alone that society is slowly making it unacceptable to be manly.

This is not helping matters.

When someone says leggings for men are the new “must have”, I say electroshock therapy is the new “must have”.

Milan – Now I know there are many out there who will think I have lost it when I write that a key, new must-have for men this coming fall will be a pair of leggings to be worn outside, not just in, the house, but that was the big message at the debut Marni men’s runway show this morning in Milan.

Leggings made of microfiber cotton and wool, shown in violet, forest green and Milan fog gray, all of them with stirrup straps, except of course for a couple of them cut above the knee, accompanied half the looks in this poetic, polished and unexpected collection.