Basketball’s governing body has changed its laws to allow players to wear hijabs during games.
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had previously banned headgear on safety grounds, but began a review of its policy, and granted exemptions, from September 2014.
At its congress in Hong Kong, FIBA agreed a new rule to come into force in October this year that will allow players to wear ratified headgear, that minimizes the risk of injury and is the same color as a team’s kit.
In a statement on its official website FIBA said: “The new rule comes as a result of the fact that traditional dress codes in some countries — which called for the head and/or entire body being covered — were incompatible with FIBA’s previous headgear rule.”
Headgear has often been a controversial topic.
Qatar’s women’s basketball team withdrew from the 2014 Asian Games after being forbidden from wearing hijabs.
Its team were asked to remove their Islamic headscarves and refused, thereby forfeiting its match with Mongolia. FIBA insisted its laws held no religious connotation in the wake of the protest.
This was despite several other sports at the Games allowing competitors to wear hijabs.
Soccer’s world governing body FIFA lifted its ban on headgear in 2014, provided it was not attached to the shirt and was also the same color.