WSO Welcomes Clear Turban Directions From FIFA

Ottawa (June 14, 2013):  The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes clear directions from the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and FIFA, expressly authorizing the wearing of male head covers in all areas and on all levels of Canadian soccer.

FIFA has clarified in a statement issued today that male players in Canada are permitted to wear head covers as well, as long as the following conditions are respected:

The head cover must:

 

  • be of the same colour as the jersey
  • be in keeping with the professional appearance of the player’s equipment
  • not be attached to the jersey
  • not pose any danger to the player wearing it or any other player (e.g. opening/closing mechanism around neck)

 

WSO President Prem Singh Vinning said, “while it has been our position from the outset that the accommodation of the turban should not hinge on FIFA rules but instead on our Canadian rules and law and on our tradition of diversity and acceptance, this announcement is certainly good news.  It is now absolutely clear that there should be no restriction on the wearing of the turban by Sikh players.”

The Quebec Soccer Federation had upheld its ban on the wearing of the turban citing unspecified safety concerns and the absence of clear directions or rules from FIFA on the matter.

WSO Vice President for Quebec Mukhbir Singh said, “We appreciate FIFA’s statement and the clarity it brings to this situation. We are hopeful that the Quebec Soccer Federation will now immediately lift its ban on the turban.  We want to see all the children play again as soon as possible.  We cannot conceive of any reason to drag this unfortunate situation out any longer. Just let the children play.”   

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.

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For more information, please contact:

Balpreet Singh

Legal Counsel

416-904-9110

balpreetsingh@worldsikh.org