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Sports: women football players wearing hidjabs

Monday 5 March 2012, by siawi3

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Paris, 3 March 2012

Subject: IFAB Decision on women football players wearing hidjabs

Today’s IFAB decision to allow women football players to wear the hidjab, thus acceding to the demand of the Iranian Federation football, raises the gravest questions on the interference of politics in sports, as well as on the issue of transparency in decision-making both by leading football bodies and by the United Nations.

- Indeed, two elements played a major role in this decision:
- (1) the position of FIFA’s executive committee (Tokyo, 17 December, 2011)
- (2) a UN communiqué releasing Wilfried Lemke’s position (as special advisor on sports to the UN Secretary General (his letter to the FIFA President (29 February 2012).

The organisations signing this communiqué intend to obtain clear explanations on the following points:

- (1) from the football decision-making bodies: How is it that a decision flouting sports neutrality (Law 4 that forbids all political or religious expression) was placed on the agenda under «any other business», instead of being one of the major items requiring a decision of principle and, therefore, an analysis of the consequences of such a proposal?
- (2) From the United Nations Secretariat: what decision-making procedure could have led a United Nations civil servant to take a position committing the body that he is supposed to serve?

The signatory organisations will remind their addressees of the fundamental importance of what is termed «the specifics of sports» that imply their independence from all political power.

- There are two explanations for the grave deviations noted in this affair:
- (1) the financial interests involved
- (2) the minimal importance granted to an issue that involves both the quality of the sports activity involved and the dignity of women.

Contact: Annie Sugier, (President of the LDIF) 00 33 (0)6 38 39 42 92