Soccer's international governing body, FIFA, has rejected an appeal from the country of Iran to allow its female athletes to wear the hijab, or Islamic head scarf, during games. The girls' national football (soccer) team had qualified to participate in the Youth Olympic Games, to be held in Singapore in August. According to Mr. Jerome Valcke, FIFA General Secretary, the rules are clear. FIFA's law says:
A player's 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."
Thailand is now scheduled to replace Iran in the tournament.