France defies FIFA, bans female footballers from wearing hijab

France says it will not permit female players to wear headscarves despite the recent approval by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Press TV reports.

The French Football Federation (FFF) announced on Friday that it must “respect the constitutional and legal principles of secularism which prevail in our country and which feature in our statutes,” and went to explicitly ban female players from wearing headscarves. 

France has a law, which strictly enforces a total separation between religion and the public sphere. 

FIFA reversed their ban on headscarves, which was incorporated in 2007 for safety reasons, arguing that the garment increased the risk of neck injuries.
Following the announcement, French lawmakers publicly urged the FFF to maintain the ban in order to protect the secularism law. 

France did not ban the hijab for foreign players who play in France during international matches. 

France has drawn international condemnation for a total ban instituted last year on the burqa as well as on the niqab.

Paris also banned the hijab in public schools in 2004 and has recently drawn more disapproval by forbidding the hijab on mothers who assist at school functions.