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FIFA panel approves Islamic headscarves for women

ZURICH (AP) - Soccer’s rules-making panel approved headscarves for female Muslim players on Thursday, reversing a ban on the Islamic hijab that’s been enforced in FIFA competitions since 2007.

The panel, known as IFAB, gave its approval to the headscarves after FIFA’s medical committee decided two scarf designs do not threaten the safety of female players. The approved designs use quick-release velcro fasteners and magnets.

Soccer rules prohibit equipment that is dangerous or makes religious statements.

FIFA vice president Prince Ali of Jordan led a yearlong campaign to overturn the ban and allow Muslim women to play the game. Two Islamic countries make the headscarf mandatory for women in public _ Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Last year, Iran forfeited qualifying matches for the London Olympics because of the headscarf ban.

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