The compromise comes after FIFA initially barred the team from participating last month over its insistence on wearing head scarves. FIFA barred hijab scarves — which protect the modesty of Islamic girls and women — in 2007 for safety reasons and to prevent political or religious statements on the field.
"This decision was taken after both the Iran Football Federation as well as the Iran National Olympic Committee confirmed in writing that they will accept a solution whereby the players will not wear their Islamic Hijab during the matches of the competition," FIFA said in a statement. "Instead, the players can wear a cap that covers their heads to the hairline, but does not extend below the ears to cover the neck."
Farideh Shojaei, deputy head of Iran's football federation, said the under-15 players were thrilled with the ruling.
"We are very happy. We are hopeful to have a good presence in the coming competitions ," Shojaei said. "The decision has increased the inspiration of our team. They are determined to practice more and more."
The state-run Tehran Times reported that Iranian authorities had consented to allowing the players to wear hats and the team would play at the Youth Olympics. "We sent FIFA a sample of our new Islamic dress and fortunately they accepted it," said Abbas Torabian, director of the International Relations Committee of Iran Football Federation said. "They announced that there was no objection if the players covered their hair with hats."
Iran will compete in a six-nation tournament for girls at the games being held Aug. 12-25 in Singapore. Around 3,600 athletes aged 14-18 will compete in 26 sports at the inaugural Youth Summer Games.
I am half amused, half WTF at these stories. It's still ridiculous. Does covering the neck pose a health hazard? or is it a political statement? How's a cap not a political statement then? Can they wear a skin colored neck liner? Would that be a political statement? How about a wig? is that a religious statement?
These are what they call bullshit sports laws, there is no rational reason behind other than tradition (which stems from the traditions of certain countries and is exclusive of others) AND 'because we say so'.