Saudis angry over judo hijab ban

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Saudi Arabia have complained to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after judo fighter Wojdan Shaherkani was banned from wearing the hijab head scarf during competition. The 18-year-old heavyweight, a member of a two-woman team who are the first female competitors sent from the conservative kingdom to an Olympics, was ordered by the International Judo Federation to fight with her head uncovered.
But the Saudis have lodged a complaint over the ban. “At the moment we are discussing with the International Judo Federation and the Saudi Arabia Olympic Committee to find a solution for her to compete,” an IOC spokesman told AFP on Friday. “I don’t think she has to compete until August 3. The rules of the federation are she cannot wear a scarf for safety reasons.” IJF president Marius Vizer had told the Saudi fighter the hijab cannot be worn in competition. “The Saudi Arabian athlete will take part in judo and she will fight according to the principle and spirit of judo, so without a hijab,” said Vizer following Thursday’s draw. Judo applies strict safety rules and any covering on the head is deemed to present a risk to the fighter’s health.

1 COMMENT

  1. No matter what the USA government does or say, they always allow for such freedom of expression.

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