Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomebasketballFrench federation should allow hijabs says Amnesty International

French federation should allow hijabs says Amnesty International

The French Basketball Federation is being asked by Amnesty International to comply with international human rights laws and not discriminate against female Muslim players who wear headgear ahead of the FFBB’s General Assembly on Saturday.

A note accompanying FFBB Rule 4.4.2 outlines the ban on head coverings but Amnesty said it violates Muslim women’s rights.

“Regarding accessories covering the head, these are considered by the Federation as inappropriate for the game, are therefore prohibited and the player must not be allowed to participate in the meeting (game) in the same way,” it reads.

However, Amnesty International said in a letter sent to the FFBB: “Prohibitions on the wearing of religious headscarves in public spaces violate Muslim women’s rights under international human rights laws and standards”.

Amnesty International added it is “deeply concerned” the application of the rule “will result in multiple violations of Muslim women’s human rights, including constituting direct racial, gender and religious discrimination against Muslim women players who wear headgear or wish to do so.”

The letter, also sent to the French Ministry of Sport and the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, comes a week after the IOC announced athletes can wear a hijab in the Paris 2024 Games athletes’ village without any restriction.

Days earlier, France’s sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said that French athletes would be barred from wearing a hijab during the Paris Games to respect principles of secularism.

While IOC rules apply in the village, the sports competitions at the Olympics are organised and overseen by the individual international sports federations.

Neither the FFBB nor the French Ministry of Sport immediately responded to requests for comment.

FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, allows players to wear religious headgear, both hijabs for women and turbans and yarmulkes for men.

Nike produced its first hijab for basketball in 2017.

Amnesty International said the Muslim players they spoke with said the headgear rule is “generally not being applied in practice, although this entirely depends on individual referees’ inclination.”

The organisation cited two recent high-profile cases of women banned from matches for wearing hijabs. REUTERS

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