FIFA allows caps for Iranian girls at Youth Olympic

Paris: The Iranian girls` football team will be allowed to take part in the Youth Olympics if players wear caps for covering hair instead of headscarves.

World football governing body FIFA said that the Football Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI) had agreed to the decision.

"This decision was taken after both the Iran Football Federation and the Iran National Olympic Committee confirmed in writing that they will accept a solution whereby the players will not wear their Islamic `hijab` during the matches of the competition," FIFA said in a statement Monday.

"Instead, the players can wear a cap that covers their heads to the hairline but does not extend below the ears to cover the neck."

In line with a 2007 ban on wearing headscarves, FIFA had barred the Iranian team from taking part in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore. The decision drew criticism from Iranian officials, who said that wearing headscarves does not pose any difficulty for Iranian women athletes.

Around 3,600 athletes aged 14-18 will compete in 26 sports at the First Summer Youth Olympic Games, scheduled to be held August 12-25.

Bureau Report