Iran rejects approved female football strip

TEHRAN - An Iranian official has rejected a new women's football strip which was created after the world football federation banned the team from international competition due to their Islamic head gear, media reported on Wednesday.

Football's world governing body FIFA banned the team in April after the Iranian Olympic Committee insisted they play in head scarves.

In Iran all women are required to cover their hair in public to conform to the Islamic dress code.

In May, the Iranian Football Federation said it had reached a compromise with FIFA whereby the under-15 team would play in caps at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on August 14-26.

On Wednesday, the women's youth team tried on the new strip during a demonstration match.

But, according to Mehr news agency, the official in charge of women's affairs at Iran's Physical Education Organisation stormed off when she saw that the strip did not conform to what had been ordered.

The team would not attend the games if they had to wear the new outfit, she was quoted as saying.

"We do not approve of the strip because the manufacturer did not make the strip that we expected," she said.

Media reports did not say exactly what she found objectionable about the new kit which was designed to comply both with Islamic rules on modesty and FIFA's requirements.

"These strips should not only be approved by international federation officials but also by Iran's Sharia law and they should comply with the Islamic framework," she said.

"We will not send the team (to the Singapore games) at any cost."

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