France’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, has upheld the ban on wearing hijabs (headscarves) during football matches. The ruling allows the French football federation to maintain its prohibition on religious symbols in official games and competitions.
Despite FIFA’s recommendation to permit headscarves at the international level, the court deemed the ban appropriate and proportionate to ensure smooth matches and prevent conflicts. The decision reignites the debate on secularism and highlights the ongoing tensions surrounding the principle in France.
The ruling comes after a group of headscarf-wearing football players, known as “Les Hijabeuses,” challenged the ban through legal action. The French football federation sees the ruling as an opportunity to reinforce its commitment to civic values, combat discrimination, and promote gender equality in football. While it remains unclear whether the ban will be implemented during the upcoming Paris Olympics, the Council of State emphasized that sports federations have the freedom to establish their own participation rules, including those concerning attire and equipment.
French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin expressed his opposition to wearing hijabs during sports competitions, arguing that religious clothing should not be worn while playing sports. He emphasized that the religion of the person facing you on the field should not be a relevant factor in football. The court’s decision is expected to spark further discussions about the boundary between religious freedom and secularism in the French Republic.
SOURCE: Sahara Reporters
IMAGE: Tasnim news