Soccer Player Told to Remove Headscarf, Referee Could Face Disciplinary Action

April 28, 2004


On April 28, 2004 posted an Associated Press article that reported, "A female soccer player was told she could not play for her local team unless she removed her Islamic head scarf, officials said Monday. Afifa Saad, who has tried out for the Victorian state team, played for the South Melbourne Women's Soccer Club wearing her white head scarf, or hijab, and long track pants, in accordance with her religion. On Sunday, at a game between South Melbourne and local club Keilor Park, the referee told her she had to remove her scarf or she could not play. The girl, whose age was not released, refused and after a delay the game was called off. The Victorian Soccer Federation said it will investigate the incident. Referee development manager Chris Bambridge said the referee could face disciplinary action. Bambridge said the referee, who had about 12 years of experience, had possibly breached anti-discrimination laws."