Soccer Referee Sidelined for Wearing Hijab



MONTREAL — A former Lac St. Louis soccer referee is blowing the whistle on rules she said prevent her from practising her religion.

Sarah Benkirane, 15, was told after two years of refereeing for the soccer association that she was out of a job, after a complaint surfaced over her wearing her hijab while calling games.

"For me it's not really an option to take it off," she explained of her traditional Muslim head scarf. "It's part of my religion. It's part of who i am. It's the way I express myself, so I think I should be allowed to wear it as long as I'm not causing any harm to anybody else and I'm not."

Under Rule 4 of the FIFA guidelines, which govern the Lac St. Louis Soccer Association, players must not only avoid wearing any item which threatens to cause choking or injury, but also "must not have any political, religious or personal statements." (More)

 


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