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Sports & Off The Pitch
Jun 5 2011 1:38PM
 
Iran protests Fifa ban on women's football team
Women playing soccer. Getty images
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Iran is protesting a decision by the ruling football body Fifa to deny its women's football team playing a 2012 Olympics qualifier in Jordan because of the players' Islamic outfits, state media reported Sunday.

Fifa cancelled Friday's game in Amman and declared Jordan 3-0 winners after the Iranian authorities refused their players to remove their headscarves and track suits.

Women in Iran are obliged to respect the hijab - Islamic dress code - and wear a long gown and scarf to conceal body contours and hair in public.

Iranian sportswomen, including the football team, have to keep the hijab in international competition, too.

Iranian Football Federation head Ali Kafshian told state television that Fifa had been informed about the outfits of the Iranian women's team.

He named the Fifa ban and declaring the game in favour of Jordan as questionable.

Kafashian said that Iran has appealed the Fifa decision and would also file an official complaint against the football body.

Iran reportedly had the same problem last year at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Iran's national women's football team was founded in 2005 and was runner-up at Asian tournaments in Jordan in 2005 and 2007.

Iran has a large number of women interested in football, but they are not allowed to enter football stadiums despite approval by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Clergy circles and local football officials believe that the male-dominated atmosphere in football stadiums, and vulgar language used by male fans, were not appropriate for women.

Sapa

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