French court bans wearing of Islamic hijab during matches

June 30 – France’s top administrative court on Thursday ruled the country’s FA is entitled to ban headscarves in women’s matches.

The court ruled against a collective of Muslim players in their case against the French Football Federation (FFF), upholding the ban on the Islamic hijab during games.

The Council of State issued its ruling after the group calling itself ‘Les Hijabeuses’ campaigned against the ban and launched legal action.

The French federation’s ban actually goes against the guidelines of FIFA, which authorises players to compete at international level with headscarves.

But France’s Council of State said sports federations “may impose on their players an obligation to wear neutral clothing during sporting competitions and events, in order to guarantee the smooth running of matches and prevent clashes or confrontation. It considers that the ban imposed by the FFF is appropriate and proportionate.”

It is unclear whether the ban would be implemented for next year’s Paris Olympics.

French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin told RTL radio earlier this week he was opposed to the wearing of the hijab during sports competitions.

“You don’t wear religious clothes when you play sports,” he said. “When you play soccer, you don’t need to know the religion of the person in front of you.”

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