FIFA medical chief changes opinion on headscarves

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By GRAHAM DUNBAR, Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A campaign to allow Muslim female soccer players to wear headscarves has been given a boost by the chairman of FIFA's medical committee withdrawing opposition.

The change of medical opinion from Michel D'Hooghe was a key step before FIFA's law-making body could approve two scarf designs when it meets in Zurich next week.

D'Hooghe told The Associated Press: "The problems I had (with scarves) were medical, and I don't have those problems anymore."

The panel, known as IFAB, asked in March for further medical advice on whether new designs were safe for women players to wear. Headscarves were banned from FIFA competitions for safety reasons in 2007.

Last month, D'Hooghe said his committee's tests suggested scarves "represented a danger" to players who could sustain head and neck injuries, or overheat.

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