Soccer Player Told to Remove Headscarf, Referee Suspended

June 23, 2004

Source: The Australian,5744,9932760%255E1702,00.html

On June 23, 2004 The Australian reported, "A referee has been suspended after a 14-year-old girl was reportedly asked to take off her Islamic headscarf during a junior soccer match in Melbourne on the weekend. The Victorian Soccer Federation (VSF) said it had suspended the referee while it investigated reports he questioned Fatma Saad about her hijab during an under-16 match between Ashburton Soccer Club and Brunswick Zebras Soccer Club on Sunday. The incident comes after another Muslim player, Afifa Saad, was told she could not play for her team unless she removed her headscarf earlier this year. In a statement issued today, the VSF said it had gone to great lengths to inform umpires that a hijab of any colour was allowed to be worn during games. It said the umpire in question had attended a meeting last month where a 'clear directive' was given that hijabs could be worn."