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Basketball Body Lifts Hijab Ban

  • VOA News

FILE - Fordson High School basketball player Fatima Kobeissi, (11) warms up in the hallway with teammate Hyatt Bakri before the basketball game against Willow Run in Dearborn, Mich., in 2007. FIBA announced hijabs will be allowed in international competition.

Muslim women basketball players are now allowed to wear hijabs in international competition, basketball’s international governing body has ruled.

The headgear was previously banned by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), which said hijabs posed safety problems.

"The new rule comes as a result of the fact that traditional dress codes in some countries, which called for the head and/or entire body being covered, were incompatible with FIBA's previous headgear rule," according to a statement on the FIBA website.

FIBA began to look at allowing the hijab years ago and granted some exemptions from the ban in 2014. The new rule, which was announced Thursday, will go into effect in October.

Hijabs must be FIBA approved and have to be the same color as the player’s uniform.

In 2014, the Qatari women’s basketball team pulled out of the Asian Games due to being forbidden from wearing hijabs.

Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, ended its ban on the hijab in 2014 as long as it was not attached to the shirt and was the same color as the uniform.

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