Today as a fan of soccer I’m very upset with the recent decision of FIFA. For those that may not know. FIFA officials disqualified the Iranian women’s soccer team in a crucial match that would qualify them for the Olympic Games. The reason they were disqualified was because the female athletes were wearing religious head scarfs. Earlier in April FIFA decided to ban all religious garments in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The Iranian team toke it upon themselves to make a headscarf that was tight around the head, and complied with FIFA regulations. When the FIFA officials found that they were still in breach of regulations they were disqualified. This decision left these hardworking athletes in tears.
FIFA states that another reason for the ban is for the safety of the players. The official rules state a player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player. FIFA contends that these head scarfs are dangerous. I would disagree. Also, a number of FIFA players wear headgear that I would consider more dangerous.Petr Cech, goal keeper for the team Chelsea. He is seen here wearing headgear every game after a serious head injury. I would contend that his headgear poses a bigger threat since it contains padding.
I am not a supporter of Iranian policy of forcing women to wear the headscarf. I believe that religion should be a choice, and shouldn’t be forced. To force women to wear the headscarf is oppression of the women’s right to express their faith as they see fit. That being said banning the headscarf also means that Muslim women from other countries, including western countries cannot compete. This ban forces observant Muslim women to choose between the beliefs, and their desire to compete. I suspect that this decision was made with other motives. Whether the motives were political in nature, I’m not sure. I am sure that this decision is not Democratic, because Democracy is inclusive not exclusive. I’m sure that it’s not religious freedom. It’s simply wrong. This decision hurts the spirit of the Olympic Games, and FIFA should be ashamed.