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UN Urges Women Footballers To Be Allowed To Wear Head Scarves

An Iranian women's national soccer player is comforted in Amman by a teammate after withdrawing from their June qualifying match against Jordan for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
A senior UN official says the organization supports rules that would allow female soccer players to wear head scarves during games.

In a statement on February 29, Wilfried Lemke, the secretary-general's special adviser on sport for development and peace, urged the head of FIFA, the international body governing soccer, to allow Dutch-designed, Velcro-fastened head scarves in FIFA-regulated matches.

He said the change would "remove a barrier that can deter women and girls" from participating in football.

Last year, Iran's national women's team was prevented from playing an Olympic Games qualifying match against Jordan because they refused to remove their head scarves.
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