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News number: 8901151026

15:39 | 2010-04-04

Sports

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Iran Protests at FIFA Opposition to Islamic Code of Dressing

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's National Olympic Committee Secretary General Bahram Afsharzadeh said his committee has sent letters to five international sports organizations to complain about a FIFA decision to ban Iranian women footballers from observing Islamic code of dressing in international tournaments.



"The letters have been sent to heads of FIFA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)," Afsharzadeh told the Islamic republic news agency on Sunday.

"We have asked the heads of these international sports organizations to review and annul FIFA's decision," he went on saying.

"Hijab is related to the Islamic culture and Muslim women can't take part in social activities without it," Afsharzadeh concluded.

Last week, FIFA banned the Iranian women football squad wearing Hijab from participating in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) which will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.

Afsharzadeh had earlier urged the world Muslim states to protest at the FIFA ban on Islamic code of dressing for women in the First Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore this summer.

Referring to Iran's Women Football Team who qualified for the Games while wearing head scarves, Afsharzadeh said the FIFA action is violation of the world Muslims' rights.

Afsharzadeh said the decision taken by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) indicates that it does "not" care about such issues as nationality, religion and race.

It is also an indication of creating obstacles on their part in the way of the women's progress, he added.

Iran's National Olympic Committee has forwarded copies of a protest letter to the International Olympic Committee and a number of sports officials in the world and Asia to consider the issue, the official said.

The First Youth Olympic Games are to be held in Singapore from August 14-26.

Meanwhile, President of Iran's Football Federation Ali Kaffashian had also announced that due to religious beliefs the Iranian women team will participate in the competitions only if they are allowed to observe the Islamic dress code.

A total of 3,500 athletes from 170 countries will partake in the games in the 2010 Youth Summer Olympics.