The French soccer federation (FFF) finds itself at odds with FIFA, refusing the authorize the wearing of a hijab, the Islamic headscarf for women players. The move comes on a day after the International Football Association Board overturned its 2007 ban on the Islamic headscarf, which it had argued was unsafe and increased the risk of neck injuries.
The FFF said in a statement that it "reiterates its duty to respect the constitutional and legislative principles of secularism that prevails in our country and features in its statutes."
French lawmaker Gerald Darmanin wrote to Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron asking for the ban "in the name of universal and republican values" and saying sports "must continue to promote equality of the sexes." France instituted a controversial law against full face-covering veils that went into effect in April 2011.
The Asian Football Confederation and Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein, a FIFA vice president, led the fight against the ban.