FIFA slams Quebec's turban ban, says headgears allowed in soccer
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) struck a blow against Quebec's turban ban, saying such headwear is perfectly acceptable on the pitch. FIFA said in a statement on Friday that wearing of male head covers is authorised at all levels of Canadian soccer.india Updated: Jun 15, 2013 19:15 IST
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) struck a blow against Quebec's turban ban, saying such headwear is perfectly acceptable on the pitch.
FIFA said in a statement on Friday that wearing of male head covers is authorised at all levels of Canadian soccer.
The statement said that the headwear must be of the same colour as the jersey, look professional, must not be attached to the jersey and not pose any danger to the players.
FIFA's position came four days after the Canadian Soccer Association suspended Quebec's soccer federation after the provincial body banned wearing of Sikh headwear.
The Quebec organisation had cited safety issues for its decision and the fact that the garments were not endorsed by FIFA.
A spokesman for the Quebec Soccer Federation says it will hold a press conference on Saturday to discuss FIFA's ruling and that there will be no comment on Friday.
The decision to suspend Quebec will begin being felt this weekend as at least 20 out-of-province teams skip a tournament in Montreal.
Some players in Quebec leagues decided to wear turbans in protest of the ban.
The ban had the support of Quebec's Parti Québécois government and some sovereigntists' used the case as an argument for Quebec independence.
However, many federal politicians opposed the ban and applauded the CSA suspension - with the Conservatives and Liberals being the most forceful.
Earlier, the FIFA had decided on female head scarves last October.
FIFA sent a letter to the Canadian Soccer Association on Thursday asking it to permit all players to wear head covers "in all areas and on all levels of the Canadian football community".
FIFA said the matter would be discussed again in October with a final decision taking place in March 2014.
Speaking to The Gazette, FIFA spokeswoman declined to comment further.
"Normally we do not really comment on state events. So far we issued the statement and we have no further comment to make."
The World Sikh Organization welcomed FIFA's declaration
World Sikh Organization vice-president for Quebec, Mukhbir Singh said: "We appreciate FIFA's statement and the clarity it brings to this situation. We are hopeful that the Quebec Soccer Federation will now immediately lift its ban on the turban. We want to see all the children play again as soon as possible. We cannot conceive of any reason to drag this unfortunate situation out any longer.
"Just let the children play."
First Published: Jun 15, 2013 18:54 IST