Iran rejects female football team's headgear

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The Independent Online

An Iranian official has rejected a new women's football strip which was created after the world football federation banned the team from international competition due to their Islamic headgear, it was reported yesterday.

Football's world-governing body FIFA banned the team in April after the Iranian Olympic Committee insisted they play in headscarves. In Iran all women are required to cover their hair in public to conform to the Islamic dress code.

In May, the Iranian Football Federation said it had reached a compromise with FIFA whereby the under-15 team would play in caps at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on 14-26 August. Yesterday the women's youth team tried on the new strip during a demonstration match.

But, according to Mehr news agency, the official in charge of women's affairs at Iran's Physical Education Organisation stormed off when she saw that the strip did not conform to what had been ordered. Media reports did not say what she found objectionable about the new kit.

"These strips should not only be approved by international federation officials but also by Iran's Sharia law and they should comply with the Islamic framework," she said. "We will not send the team [to Singapore] at any cost."