Newsdesk - FIFPro Backs Headscarf Rule Change; Warsaw's Euro 2012 Stadium Gets Go-Ahead

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(WFI) The worldwide union for professional footballers is supporting a proposal to allow women to wear headscarves on the field of play.
Iranian girls donned special garb for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games tournament in Singapore. (WFI)

“FIFPro has always been a strong supporter of the rights of all women to play football and for Islamic women to play football wearing headscarves,” said Brendan Schwab, a board member of FIFPro.

The backing comes ahead of a March 3 meeting of the International Football Association Board in London at which FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will recommend a revision of the laws of the game.

“We believe, as His Royal Highness does, that the participation of women is extremely beneficial, not just for the individual involved but for our game generally,” Schwab said.

FIFA recently fielded complaints from the football federation of Iran after its women’s team was banned from an Olympic qualifier because of its Islamic dress. At the time, FIFA insisted team officials were well aware that the so-called hijab is banned for safety reasons – and has been since 2007.

FIFA previously banned Iran for similar kits as well. Its girls instead opted for specially made caps at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.

Similar caps featuring Velcro are being touted by both Prince Ali and FIFPro.

Match-Fixing Crackdown in South Korea

South Korea is adopting prison terms and lifetime sports bans as the punishment for match-fixing in the wake of the country’s worst-ever scandal.

According to a New York Times report, nearly 80 active or retired players and brokers are caught up in the investigation so far with also 50 already banished from football for life.

The penalties, the toughest in the K-League’s 28 years of operation, follow charges filed by state prosecutors in Changwon.

“We believe the recent turn of events has created a state of emergency that threatens to shake the foundation of sports,” Choe Kwang-shik, minister of culture, sports and tourism, was quoted Tuesday by the newspaper.

Match-fixing has since spread to top volleyball and baseball leagues in South Korea as well.

Go-Ahead for First Warsaw Fixture

Warsaw’s new National Stadium has the go-ahead to stage its first-ever fixture ahead of Euro 2012.
Warsaw National Stadium enjoyed an official opening ceremony Jan. 29. (Getty Images)

A Feb. 29 friendly against Portugal was in doubt because of the stadium manager stepping down last week as well as safety concerns.

Police were having trouble communicating within the venue and were also worried there was inadequate fencing to separate supporters of opposing teams.

According to Warsaw mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, however, the match will move forward as planned.

Warsaw National Stadium is scheduled to stage five matches during Euro 2012, including the June 8 opener and a semifinal.



By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson

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