FIFA to discuss ban of girl who wore head scarf

February 28, 2007

ZURICH, Switzerland -- FIFA will discuss the decision to bar an 11-year-old Muslim girl from playing in a soccer tournament in Canada last weekend because she was wearing a head scarf.

Quebec's soccer federation said Asmahan Mansour was given the choice of taking off her hijab or not playing Sunday in the tournament near Montreal. The federation said wearing the hijab -- an Islamic veil or head scarf -- violates a no-headgear rule set down by the sport's governing body for safety reasons.

The federation noted the referee was also a Muslim.

FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot said the issue will be reviewed Saturday in Manchester, England, during the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board.

"It is ultimately up to the referee to determine if an item or equipment worn by a player is dangerous for him or her or for the other players," Maingot said Wednesday.

The board governs the laws of the game.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press