Lifting The Headscarf Ban

During the West Asia Olympic qualifiers in 2011, the Iranian national women’s team was forced to withdraw from the tournament. International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) had ruled that wearing the headscarf posed a safety hazard to players.


AFDP decided to take action for two reasons. We believe all players have the right to take part in football without obstacles or discrimination, and that sport is a powerful platform to promote equality.

It’s why our chair Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein spearheaded a campaign that brought together football experts and human rights activists from around the world. The aim was to discuss the issue from all angles: legal, cultural, religious and medical.

In July 2012, Prince Ali presented his solutions to the International Football Association Board (IFAB), and headscarf wearers were finally granted the right to compete in official matches.

The headscarf is worn by nearly 600 million women around the world who now have the opportunity to compete at the highest level in football without discrimination.