London, Apr 6(ANI): The Iranian girls' football team has been barred from this year's inaugural Youth Olympic Games after FIFA rejected the Iranian Olympic panel's request to let their players wear hijab (Islamic headscarf).
Iran was scheduled to compete in a six-nation tournament at the Games, to be held in Singapore from August 14 to 26.
According to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Iran's National Olympic Committee (NOC) had earlier refused to let the team play without the hijab, and sent a request to FIFA.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke rejected the Iranian Olympic panel's request in a letter to the national football federation, and added that Thailand has been nominated to replace them.
"Taking into consideration the clear position stated by the (Olympic committee) of Iran, the FIFA Executive Committee had no choice, but to take the decision that (Iran) will not be able to participate," The Telegraph quoted Valcke, as saying.
FIFA maintains football's international rule book, which contains a section on players' on-field equipment stating that "basic compulsory equipment must not have any political, religious or personal statements."
"The team of a player whose basic compulsory equipment has political, religious or personal slogans or statements will be sanctioned by the competition organiser or by FIFA," it adds. ANI)