When women were forced to choose between faith and football

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Shireen Ahmed | The Guardian
April 2018 | 4-minute read


In a 2011 Olympic qualifying match against Jordan, Iran’s women’s team were banned from playing because of their hijabs. They wore hijabs that were supposed to meet Fifa standards. Heartbroken and frustrated, the women left the pitch. Their dreams of Olympic football lay in tatters. Photographs of the sobbing players were plastered over the media. This was not a case of Muslim women being oppressed by their faith, it was a serious case of women being excluded by draconian rules, steeped in gendered Islamophobia and ignorance, that were created by men.


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