UN Criticizes France’s Ban On Athletes Wearing Headscarves At The Olympics – Sport Latest



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The UN Human Rights Office is the latest body to condemn
France’s decision to ban Olympic athletes from wearing
headscarves at the 2024 Paris Games.

On September 26, in response to the ban, Marta Hurtado, a
spokeswoman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, said “[n]o one should impose on a woman what she needs
to wear, or not wear.” Hurtado noted that under international
human rights law “restrictions of expressions of religions or
beliefs such as attire choices are only acceptable under really
specific circumstances” such as public safety or health. This
condemnation comes days after France’s minister for sport
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra said French athletes will
not be allowed to wear hijabs at the Paris Olympics.

The ban was first approved in January 2022, when the French
Senate voted to ban sports players from wearing headscarves during
competitions. While the vote received an outpouring of public
critique, it was not the first time the country has been criticized
for restricting religious freedoms. Religious symbols have been
banned in French public schools since 2004. Face veils are not
permitted in public areas, and last month, the country enacted a
ban on abayas (long, robe-like dresses worn by some Muslim women)
in public schools.

The contentious restriction is not commonplace in the sports
world. In 2012, FIFA, football’s governing body, lifted its ban
allowing players to wear head covers for religious reasons during
matches. On September 29, the International Olympic Committee (the
“IOC”) confirmed athletes can wear a hijab in the Paris
2024 Olympic Games athletes’ village without any restriction.
“For the Olympic Village, the IOC rules apply … there are no
restrictions on wearing the hijab or any other religious or
cultural attire,” said an IOC spokesperson. The IOC confirmed
that it is working with the French National Olympic and Sports
Committee to better understand the ban.

Check new:   Corinthians Exploits FIFA Data to Eliminate Medical Department

The Olympic stage is no stranger to sociopolitical protests and
with the world as its captive audience, athletes have historically
made public demonstrations during the games. Will athletes, other
international sports federations, or the IOC put pressure on France
to reverse the ban? We will have to wait and see.

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