Scarf ban rules out Iran

SINGAPORE - The Iranian girls soccer team has been kicked out of this year's first Youth Olympics because of a Fifa ban on playing in Islamic headscarves.

SINGAPORE - The Iranian girls soccer team has been kicked out of this year's first Youth Olympics because of a Fifa ban on playing in Islamic headscarves.

Iran's national olympic committee had refused to let the team play at the August 14-26 Games in Singapore without the hijab and they had been replaced by Thailand, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said.

"The executive committee had no choice but to decide that Iran will not be able to participate in the inaugural Youth Olympic football tournaments," the AFC quoted a Fifa letter to the Iran Football Federation as saying.

Soccer's tournaments at the Olympics are organised by Fifa, whose rules allow only the wearing of a shirt or jersey, shorts, socks and footwear to play the game. Some 3500 athletes are expected to take part in 26 sports at the inaugural Youth Olympics. - Reuters

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