04 May 2017

Basketball body lifts 'hijab ban' during games

Basketball chiefs reversed a controversial ban on professional players wearing headgear Thursday after fierce criticism that the rule undermined diversity by disallowing religious coverings like the Muslim hijab.

The decision by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) means religious headwear can now be worn on court.

"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," it said in a statement.

A furious Qatar withdrew their women's basketball team from the Asian Games in 2014 because FIBA said they were not allowed to wear headscarves on safety grounds, calling the ban an "insult".

Many sports, including football, now allow women to wear the hijab. [AFP] Read more