Last Friday, the Iranian women's soccer team got some pretty disheartening news in their quest to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. Right before a qualifying match against Jordan, international football association officials disqualified the team because, as The Washington Post reports, the Iranian players were wearing headscarves they say violated FIFA's dress code.
Iran's Press TV reports that Islamic guidelines require women to wear a hijab to cover their hair in public, but FIFA requires that a player's neck and ears remain exposed.
Needless to say, the players were crushed. Iran said it would file a complaint against FIFA, and today FIFA's new vice president Prince Ali of Jordan said he wanted to raise the issue for further discussion.
The AFP reports:
"This is an important issue that I will raise with the Asian Football Confederation and with the International Federation of Association Football. We will work together to find a solution that respects the rules of the game and the culture at the same time," Ali, King Abdullah's half brother, told AFP.
"Football is about fair play and respect and I am confident that we can resolve this issue," said the new FIFA vice president who took office on Wednesday.
Today, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad jump into the controversy calling FIFA, "dictators and colonialist." The Guardian reports he said Iran would "deal with those who carried out this ugly job."