From July, Muslim women will be able to wear headscarves during football matches. FIFA has decided to drop its 2007 ban on the hijab or headscarf.
The ban was introduced because traditional headscarves were said to be dangerous: women could get caught up in them during the game. A Dutch design helped convinced FIFA to reverse its decision.
Calls to lift the ban originated in the United Nations and gathered support in the Asian and African football confederations which represent many Muslim countries.
Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, a member of FIFA’s executive council, put forward a design from Dutch company Capsters to demonstrate that the headscarf needn’t be an impediment to the game.
Gap in the market
Capsters is based in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and developed out of Cindy van den Bremen’s final college project. She set herself the task of offering Muslim sportswomen an alternative to the traditional hijab or headscarf. She ended up with four designs for various sports and activities. There was immediate interest and she marketed them under the brand name Capsters.
The sporting headscarf is not just a commercial success. It has won a Good Design Award in Japan and a place in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.