Maldives women's team quits tournament over hijab ban

Mohamed Hamdhoon, Haveeru Online
May 23, 2013 - 11:59 6 comments
  • The Maldives men and women's team that participated in the FIBA Asia under 18 three on three basketball tournament being held in Bangkok. PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

The Maldives women's team has quit the FIBA Asia under 18 three on three basketball tournament after refusing to play without their headscarves.

Basketball Association President Ahmed Hafiz who is currently with the team in Bangkok, Thailand said although the rules say women must play without covering their heads, Maldives had been allowed to to do so in earlier tournaments.

“Although the rules say otherwise, Maldives had been allowed to play with the hijab. We participated in the tournament thinking that it would be the same even this year. But after an incident in a tournament held in Qatar, they had refused anyone to play with the headscarf,” Hafiz explained.

The players had the choice to play after removing their headscarves, but refused to do so and forfeited the tournament, he added.

The men’s team meanwhile was knocked out of the competition after losing  the two games played Wednesday against Thailand and China. The team’s last game is against India on Thursday.

According to Hafiz, FIBA Asia has been trying to revise the rules which would allow women to play with the hijab.

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