Zhang Jilong supports review of headscarf rule

Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia Jan 30,2012: AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong has reiterated the importance of a favourable reconsideration of the headscarf rule by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which meets on March 3 in London.

Jilong, a FIFA Executive Committee member, expressed the Asian Football Confederation‘s unwavering support for this review, which will be presented to the IFAB members by FIFA Vice-President HRH Prince Ali bin Al Hussein. Jilong thanked his FIFA colleagues for referring the matter to the IFAB. “Many women footballers in Asia wear headscarves,” said the AFC Acting President.

“I would like to request the IFAB to favourably consider FIFA’s proposal and review the rule and allow women players to play wearing a safe headscarf that covers the neck,” he said. “My colleagues in the AFC Executive Committee strongly support the idea of reviewing the rule and I think it is in the interests of women’s football worldwide.” He said several new designs of headscarves are now commercially available in the market that ensures the safety of the player.

“I have personally seen the new designs with a velcro joined at the neck, which releases if the headscarf is pulled, ensuring the player’s safety,” he added. HRH Prince Ali and AFC Women’s Committee Chairwoman Moya Dodd have spearheaded the call for a need to review the interpretation of the rule. HRH Prince Ali also organised a conference on the issue in Amman, Jordan, in October 2011, while the AFC Executive Committee, in its November meeting, mandated the FIFA Executive Committee members from Asia to pursue the issue at the world level.

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