ICC Women's World Cup 2013 fixtures

All matches played in Mumbai. Venues: Wankhede Stadium, Brabourne Stadium [aka Cricket Club of India], Middle Income Group Ground (MIG), Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), DY Patil Stadium (DYP)


28 England v Pakistan, Wankhede Stadium (03:30 GMT)
28 India v South Africa, BKC (03:30 GMT)
28 West Indies v Australia, Brabourne Stadium (03:30 GMT)
28 New Zealand v Sri Lanka, MIG (03:30 GMT)
29 India v Australia, Wankhede Stadium (03:30 GMT)
29 West Indies v Pakistan, BKC (03:30 GMT)
30 Sri Lanka v South Africa, Brabourne Stadium (03:30 GMT)
30 England v New Zealand, DYP (03:30 GMT)


Group A: England (A1), India (A2), West Indies (A3), Sri Lanka (A4)
Group B: Australia (B1), New Zealand (B2), Pakistan (B3), South Africa (B4)
31 Australia v Pakistan, BKC (03:30 GMT)
31 India v West Indies (d/n), Wankhede Stadium (09:00 GMT)
New Zealand v South Africa (d/n), Wankhede Stadium (09:00 GMT)
England v Sri Lanka, Wankhede Stadium (03:30 GMT)
New Zealand v Pakistan, BKC (03:30 GMT)
Austalia v South Africa, Brabourne Stadium (03:30 GMT)
India v England, Wankhede Stadium (03:30 GMT)
Sri Lanka v West Indies, MIG (03:30 GMT)
Pakistan v South Africa, BKC (03:30 GMT)
Australia v New Zealand (d/n), DYP (03:30 GMT)
India v Sri Lanka, Wankhede Stadium (03:30 GMT)
England v West Indies (d/n), Brabourne Stadium (09:00 GMT)


Teams retain their ranking from the group stage no matter where they qualify - for example, England will be A1 whether they finish first, second or third. If A4 (Sri Lanka) or B4 (South Africa) qualify, they will adopt the ranking of the team they replace in the Super Six
7th/8th place play-off, MIG (03:30 GMT)
A3 v B3, BKC (03:30 GMT)
A2 v B2 (d/n), Wankhede Stadium (09:00 GMT)
A1 v B1 (d/n), Brabourne Stadium (09:00 GMT)
11 A3 v B2, BKC (03:30 GMT)
11 A1 v B3, DYP (03:30 GMT)
11 A2 v B1 (d/n), Brabourne Stadium (09:00 GMT)
13 A3 v B1, Wankhede Stadium (03:30 GMT)
13 A1 v B2, BKC (03:30 GMT)
13 A2 v B3, Brabourne Stadium (03:30 GMT)
15 5th/6th place play-off, BKC (03:30 GMT)
15 3rd/4th place play-off, Brabourne Stadium (03:30 GMT)


17 Final (d/n), Brabourne Stadium (09:00 GMT)

3rd Women's AHF Cup: Singapore 4 Pakistan 2

SINGAPORE - The Republic's hockey women notched their first victory at the 3rd Women's Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup on Wednesday night after defeating Pakistan 4-2 in their round robin match at Sengkang Stadium. 

Ranked 49th in the world, the Singaporeans had started their campaign last Thursday with a 1-1 draw against Hong Kong (No 47) before succumbing to losses to Taiwan (3-1) and Sri Lanka (1-0) this week. 

They will play their final group match against Thailand - who are the highest ranked side at world No 36 - on Thursday evening, 8pm.
Source: http://www.todayonline.com/Sports/EDC121212-0000135/3rd-Womens-AHF-Cup--Singapore-4-Pakistan-2

Four Azerbaijani boxers reach quarterfinal stage in Kazakhstan tournament

Kazakhstan is hosting an international tournament in women's boxing.
Four members of the national boxing team of Azerbaijan - Aziza Azizova, Yelena Vystropova, Leyla Javadova and Aynur Rzayeva-won the first fights and reached the quarterfinal stage.

Anakhanim Agayeva and Jeyran Dadashova who debuted in the international tournament lost to their opponents in the first fights, sources in the Boxing Federation of Azerbaijan. 


Turkey takes a step to lift hijab ban on professional athletes: Hijabi Photos are now accepted for licence applications

Headscarved Martial Arts Professional Yenigül Uzan
Previously, women could not wear a headscarf while engaged in a professional sport and were not able to obtain a professional sports license without removing the headscarf for the requisite photo. In accordance with the new regulation, however, women will able to wear the headscarf while playing any sport professionally in Turkey and in their license photo.
The ban had been in effect since 1982. The move comes after approval of the use of the headscarf by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), football's ruling body, on July 5. A ban on the use of the headscarf for Muslim women footballers was lifted by the sport's rule-makers.
IFAB unanimously overturned the ban and agreed to rewrite the laws after studying reports by a FIFA medical officer. "Safety and medical issues have been removed for the use of the headscarf and it is approved that players can have the head scarf,” FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke told Reuters.
Last year, the women's soccer team from Iran was prevented from playing their 2012 Olympic second round qualifying match against Jordan because they refused to remove their hijab before kickoff.
Iran, which had topped their group in the first round of Olympic qualifiers, was punished with an automatic 3-0 defeat, which abruptly ended their dreams of qualifying for the London games. Other sports, such as rugby and taekwondo, already allow the use of the hijab.

Iranians shine in Asian Women's Handball Championship

National Iranian women's handball team
Iranian female handball players have exhibited a brilliant performance in the preliminary round of the 14th edition of the Asian Women's Handball Championship in Indonesia, crushing the hosts.
Iranians overpowered the Indonesian squad 53-4 in their opener at Gedung Olah Raga sports hall of Yogyakarta city on Friday. 
The national Iranian women's handball team will play against North Korea in its second match of the preliminary round of the 2012 Asian Women's Handball Championship on Saturday. 
A total of 12 teams are vying for the top place of Asian women’s handball. 
Iran has been drawn in Group A along with China, Taiwan, Indonesia, North Korea and South Korea. 
India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are in Group B. 
The 2012 Asian Women's Handball Championship began on December 7, and will wrap up on December 16. 
The tournament acts as the Asian qualifying tournament for the 2013 World Women's Handball Championship in Serbia. 


Bahrain prepares for 3rd GCC Women's Games

Shaikha Hayat with other Executive Committee members at the meeting.
08 DEC 2012, Manama, Bahrain: The Coordination and Follow-up Committee of the 3rd GCC Women’s Games, to be hosted by Bahrain next March, had its first meeting on Saturday to review the most recent arrangements and other activities. The Executive Committee Chairwoman and Bahrain Olympic Committee member, Shaikha Hayat bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, welcomed the committee members. 
Shaikha Hayat noted the support the event has received from the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Chairman and BOC President Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. This support has encouraged Bahraini women to practise different sports, either for competitive or recreational purposes. She also highlighted the role of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty King Hamad and Supreme Council for Women President, in backing women’s sports activities in the kingdom. Dr. Aysha Al Amer chaired the meeting of the committee, which also has in its membership Fawzia Al Yousefi (Kuwait), Laila Suhail (UAE), Suad Al Ismaili (Oman) and Lulwa Al Marri (Qatar). 
The committee members visited a number of stadiums and sports gyms that will host the Games, and were satisfied with the overall preparations. They were also briefed on the proposed competition timetable, the Games bylaws and the proposed models for medals, certificates and official logo. 
The joint technical meeting with the directors of the GCC delegations is likely to be held in early February. Mohammed Al Zayed was named secretary of the Coordination and Follow-Up Committee, in addition to his duties as a staff member at the BOC International Affairs Department. 
The committee decided to submit their reports and recommendations to the Executive Office of the GCC Women's Sport Organizing Committee for their meeting in Qatar on Thursday. (Source: Rami Ayoob, BOC)
Source: http://en.olympic.cn/news/olympic_news/2012-12-11/2197372.html 

Alan Hubbard: Will the IOC remain largely a preserve of the rich, the venerable – and the male?

In support of a leading figure, El Moutawakel
A visit to Athens this week confirmed the view that the future of London's Olympic Stadium must involve a football club. Without the presence of the round ball game the stadium which gloriously hosted the Olympic Games of 2004 would now be as much an old ruin as the Acropolis or the Parthenon.

Shabby and run down it may be, like the Greek economy, but at least it is in regular use, then Greek Super league clubs Panathinaikos and AEK sharing it on alternate weekends. Without football it would be as much a white elephant as several other now derelict venues that helped produce such a memorable Games eight years ago.

This has to be the lesson for London, which is why the mayor is wrong when he declares "the Stadium will have a future in any event" should the new deal with West Ham United not work out.

Oh no it won't, Boris.

Should that happen the Greeks have a word for it. Chaos.

The Greeks have words for many things of course, and some date back to the decrees of Ancient Greece and the birth of the original Olympic Games.

A few days spent in the sadly impoverished cradle of both the ancient and modern Games brought reflections on how far they have  come since the days when women were barred from competing in- or even watching - the Olympics.

London demonstrated this year that in almost all respects sexism, like racism, has been firmly extinguished that equality is now the Olympic buzzword.

Although not quite.

For all its attempts at modernisation the International Olympic Committee (IOC) remains largely a preserve of the rich, the venerable – and the male.

Jacques Rogge IOC President at the executive board meeting in LausanneJacques Rogge at the opening of the Executive Board meeting in Lausanne earlier this week

A few women members now tread the corridors of power but a high heel has yet to step purposefully through the glass ceiling that covers the IOC headquarters in Lausanne.

By that I mean no woman has ever come close to being considered a candidate for the most prestigious office in world sport – the Presidency of the IOC itself.

But could this be about to change next year, when Jacques Rogge steps down after eight years in which he has overseen many commendable changes in the way Olympic sport is governed.

Who will succeed him?

The thought occurs that if Lord Coe was currently an IOC member the question might be superfluous as he surely would be as much a shoo-in as he was for the chair of the British Olympic Association (BOA) - installed by acclamation after the stupendous success of London 2012 and the personal global esteem that now engulfs him.

Next time, maybe.

Instead, while none have yet formally declared their intention to run for the election to be held at the 125th IOC session in Buenos Aires next September, we have mainly the usual suspects who, as they say on those TV talent show polls, are, in no particular order:

Thomas Bach, 59, long-serving vice-president, former German Olympic fencing champion and loyal henchman to Rogge, who is believed to be the strongest candidate and current favourite.

Thomas Bach of GermanyGermany's Thomas Bach is favourite to take up the IOC Presidency

Richard Carrion, 60, a Puerto Rican banker and financial expert who chairs the IOC Finance Commission.

Denis Oswald, 65, former Swiss rower well-known to London for his diligent overseeing of the 2012 Coordination Commission.

Wu Ching-kuo (aka Dr C K Wu), 66, ambitious reformist Taiwanese head of international boxing body AIBA whose latest edict is to remove the word amateur from the sport in attempt to control all aspects of boxing.

Ng Ser Miang, 63, Chinese-born Singaporean diplomat and former Olympic sailor who won plaudits for organising then 2005 IOC session where London won the 2012 bid, and hosting the successful Youth Olympics in Singapore.

All men of a certain age, and one disadvantage Messrs Carrion, Wu and Ng are that they are non-Europeans. Only one of the nine IOC presidents of the modern Games – the awful American "Slaverty" Avery Brundage- has come from outside Europe.

Denis Oswald the IOC coordination committee Jacques Rogge IOC President and Christophe de Keeper IOC director generalDenis Oswald (left) presided the IOC's Coordination Commission for London 2012

Time for a change of Continent?

Unlikely. But nowhere near as titanic a turn-up as a change of sex.

For I hear there is growing campaign to get the woman who arguably has done more than anyone for female emancipation in Olympic sport to stand for the IOC Presidency.

Nawal El Moutawakel was never shy of putting her best foot forward as a runner, pioneering the historic breakthrough when winning the inaugural women's 400 metres hurdles event at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

In doing she became not only the first Moroccan but the first African, Arab and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

Although she had been an accomplished runner, the victory of El Moutawakel, then a student at Iowa State University in the USA, shocked her nation.

Previously she had been verbally abused, and even spat upon as she ran barefoot through the streets of Casablanca.

But attitudes changed sharply when King Hassan telephoned his congratulations, and declared that all girls born the day of her victory were to be named in her honour.

Nawal el Moutakawel of MoroccoNawal El Moutawakelof Morocco made history in 1984 when she became the first Moroccan, African, Arab and Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal

Subsequently she became a high-flying businesswoman, then Morocco's Minister for Sport and an IOC Executive Board member, perhaps best known for leading the Evaluation Commission for the 2012 Games.

Very much an Anglophile, she always carried a torch for London - literally so when running a leg of the torch relay Westminster this year.

Coe always believed she was instrumental in helping sway then decision London's way in 2005.

At 50 she remains the iconic a role model for women's sport, for which she has consistently broadened the parameters.

Fourteen years ago she organised the first Moroccan women's 10 kilometres race in Casablanca which now attracts more than 30,000 participants annually. All women. The men - husbands, brothers and neighbours - now cheer from the windows and roadsides. It is a remarkable display of sorority in a predominantly Muslim country.

Nawal el Moutakawel IOCCould Nawal El Moutawakel who is such a iconic a role model for women's sport, take over from Jacques Rogge?

"Sport has given me so much that whatever I give back it will never be enough," she has said

I hope El Moutawakel puts on her running shoes again – this time for the top job in global sport. Madame President.

An African head of the IOC – and a woman to boot?

Now that really would propel sport into the 21st century.

And the Greeks have a word – or two- for it, Καλὴ τύχη

That means Good, Luck.

Alan Hubbard is an award-winning sports columnist for The Independent on Sunday, and a former sports editor of The Observer. He has covered a total of 16 Summer and Winter Olympics, 10 Commonwealth Games, several football World Cups and world title fights from Atlanta to Zaire
Source: http://www.insidethegames.biz/blogs/1012004-alan-hubbard-will-the-ioc-remain-largely-a-preserve-of-the-rich-the-venerable-and-the-male 

Qatar ready to host GCC basketball event for girls

FROM LEFT: Dr Mostafa Diab, QBF Technical Expert, Qatar Women’s Sport Committee (QWSC) President Ahlam Salem Al Mana, and QWSC Assistant Secretary General Maha Abduljabar, during the GCC Basketball Organising Committee press conference at the QWSC headquarters yesterday. PICTURE BY: KAMMUTTY VP
DOHA: Qatar Women’s Sport Committee (QWSC) President Ahlam Salem Al Mana insists the hosts will ‘give their best’ when they begin their GCC Girls Basketball Championship against Oman this week.
The Qatar team is due to arrive in Doha today after undertaking a two-week training camp in Turkey, in preparation for the five-day competition that is being held for the first time. 
“Our team has been training hard for the last two weeks, and have been training two times a day. The camp in Turkey will help the players be ready for this competition (GCC Girls Basketball Championship),” said Al Mana, after she and Dr Mostafa Diab, Qatar Basketball Federation’s Technical Expert addressed journalists at a press conference at the QWSC headquarters, yesterday.
Al Mana also added that the girls team, of whom the members will be under 18-years-old, will gain match practice and experience with friendly matches before the competition begins on Tuesday.
She said: “Qatar will play friendly matches against schools and regional teams in Doha to get as much match practice and experience before the competition starts.”
Kuwait, Oman, UAE and Bahrain will also be participating in the competition that begins on December 11 and concludes on December 15
The QWSC which already organises a basketball league for women in Qatar, hopes the competition will be a stepping stone for bigger events in the future. 
“This kind of competition will allow the players to work hard and develop their skills in the tournament. The QWSC will also continue to work with the national team in order to reach big tournaments,” the QWSC President said.
“We all at QWSC try to prepare our national teams of any sport for the big tournaments,” she said.
“With the Olympics, everybody hopes that Qatar (women’s basketball team) can reach the Olympics one day. We are working hard to achieve that in the future,” she added with a smile. 
The QWSC helps to promote and organise events for women in Qatar. 
At the London 2012 Games, shooter Bahya Mansour Al Hamad became the first woman to represent Qatar in an Olympic Games. 
Qatari women, Ayah Magdi (table tennis), Noor Al Malki (sprinter) and Nada Mohammed (swimmer) also competed in the two-week long event that were held in July/August this year.
Source: http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/sport/217315-qatar-ready-to-host-gcc-basketball-event-for-girls.html

Women’s Challenge Cup Hockey at Lahore from 30th

LAHORE - The Ist Women’s Challenge Cup Hockey Tournament is being held at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore from December 30. The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has allowed a group of enthusiastic former hockey players to organize the women’s hockey tournament in the private sector.

The tournament, which will be played on single league basis, is scheduled to continue till January 6, 2013 and expected to be participated by six leading women’s teams from all over the country including WAPDA, Railways, Punjab, Sindh and Army among others.
The group of former hockey players is spearheaded by Ms Saman Rashid who is the chief organizer of the forthcoming tournament. She has played for Pakistan Women Hockey Team, Lahore, Punjab, Railways and WAPDA for about ten years till 2010.
According to the information available from the organizing committee, the main objective for organizing the tournament is to promote national game of hockey, empowerment of women and encouraging young girls to take up hockey as their favourite game and show their talent at the national and international levels in due course of time after hard work, training and determination.
The organizing committee is confident that young girls from colleges and universities in the provincial metropolis would turn up daily at the National Hockey Stadium to watch the best women players of the country in action and to draw inspiration and learn lessons from them.
Chief organizer Saman Rashid is in Singapore presently on an assignment given to her by the Asian Hockey Federation on the recommendations of the Pakistan Hockey Federation. Prior to her leaving for Singapore for taking up the assignment, Saman Rashid had told couple of media people that she regards this assignment as a member of the AHF Jury as an honour for herself, the nation and the country and would try, while in Singapore, to come up to the expectations of all in a satisfying manner.
Saman Rashid is scheduled to return home on December 19 after which the tournament arrangements would be given final touches in all respects.
Source: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/12/11/news/sports/womens-challenge-cup-hockey-at-lahore-from-30th/

Pakistan Railways team win Womens Cycle Race

The final event of International Women’s Cycle Race was held at Ganda Singh Road in which Pakistan Railways team secured first position while Higher Education team remained second and team from Afghanistan got third position.The award distribution ceremony was held at the District Council Hall where DCO Ahsan Waheed distributed prizes and medals among the winning teams.
Source: http://dunyanews.tv/index.php/en/Sports/108636-Pakistan-Railways-team-win-Womens-Cycle-Race 


Muslims and Sports Workshop

Subject: Muslims and Sports Workshop

*Muslims and Sports Workshop*

*Call for Papers*

The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) invites paper proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop: Muslims and Sports (event date: July 2013). We encourage papers from postgraduates and early career academics; our environment is friendly and supports the sharing of ideas and creativity. Papers are encouraged on any sport, team, or individual and its relationship to Muslims and sports. Papers might address the following questions (though not limited to these):

- What distinguishes the relationship between (modern and folk) sport and Muslims and Islam?
- How has the relationship of Muslims and sport changed historically and geographically?
- How has Islamophobia and/or multiculturalism affected the role of sport for Muslims and Muslim societies and cultures – both locally and/or internationally?
- How have race, class, gender and disability played out at the intersection of Muslims and sport?

Proposals for papers should be sent by *email only* to sa112@soas.ac.uk

Convenor:* Dr. Sevket Hylton Akyildiz *
(Anthropology and Sociology Department, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London).

Inquiries and electronic submissions may be made to the convenor.

Proposals should not exceed 250 words in length.

*Proposals are due by 1 May 2013. *


Pakistani swimmer breaks International Records

KARACHI: National swimming champion Kiran Khan finished 10th in her 50-metre butterfly event at the ninth Asian Swimming Championship in Dubai but Liana Swann managed to break three national records in the 400 individual medley, 100-metre freestyle and 200-metre breast stroke events.
The Pakistan Swimming Federation (PSF) had sent five swimmers to Dubai where Kiran made a comeback to the international arena after an 18-month break.
Swann came 11th in the 200m breaststroke event, finishing in two minutes and 51 seconds which improved her national record by a second.
She finished the 100m freestyle in one minute and 30 seconds, improving by a second once again, before finishing the 400m individual medley in five minutes and 27 seconds.
According to the PSF Secretary Majid Waseem, the federation is pinning their hopes on Swann who trains in Dubai throughout the year.
“Swann will be competing in three more races so we are hoping that she will break more national records,” Swann’s coach Ashley Morris told The Express Tribune.
‘Faster than Kiran and Anam’
“She is 15 right now and faster than Kiran and Anam Banday (the swimmer PSF sent to the Olympics earlier this year). Our aim is to set new records here in Dubai and then prepare for the World Swimming Championships next year.
If she remains in form, she may be sent to the 2016 Olympics. She has a lot of potential.”
Two other young swimmers Areeba Saif and Anisha will be competing in the individual medley events today.

Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/466849/liana-breaks-three-national-records/


Unveiling Hijab on the Pitch- FIFA approves headscarf design.

Unveiling Hijab on the Pitch
This morning I woke up to find out that a design submitted by designer in Montreal Elham Sayed Javad was accepted by IFAB as an acceptable FIFA-approved model for a headscarf.
This means that we may soon be seeing hijabs on the pitch. It will open up the doors of competition and inclusion for thousands of potential footballers and extend opportunity for existing players.
I have been playing football for almost 30 years.This decision is a victory for me, my daughter and her daughters. 
It is also a victory for the sport.
Football is a game that unites countries in turmoil, strangers in fandom and creates development and cooperation between nations and communities that may not otherwise have a connection. 
Most important is signifies the importance of choice. If a woman wishes to wear hijab and still participate at a high level, she is not restricted from doing so.
The world is abuzz with many people philisophizing and making assumptions about women in hijab. There are questions to its’ relevance in this country, the impositions of the Eastern world and its’ representation of patriarchy and oppression. 
The core issue of hijab in football isn’t about religion. It’s about opportunity, right to wear and respect.
Whether a player wears a turban, is adorned with tattoos of the Holy Trinity or wears a Star of David is quite frankly irrelevant.
Their personal choice to believe in a faith and practice can not be a reason to eliminate them from play. Particularly now that there has been a hijab-designed to meet all safety criteria that IFAB requires.
My football uniform consists of my hijab as much as it does my jersey and my boots. I don’t use pins - just a stretchable cotton with another piece underneath, so my current club allowed me to play. 
I even bought a branded athletic shirt and stitched it to my liking as the material had wicking fabric suitable for intense matches.
For a very long time after I chose to wear hijab, I was excluded from playing in regular FIFA  and Canadian Soccer Association sanctioned-clubs. Most local clubs decided to avoid the issue and although they were independent, FIFA said “NO” so they could do the same. They cited various reasons; everything from players safety to non-permissibility of religious symbols to simply ‘we aren’t sure- so no’. Some clubs decided it was up to the referee to decide leaving players and teams quite frustrated without a firm answer.
Each provincial football body may have varying levels of deference to FIFA’s hijab ban which was strictly imposed in 2007 as a neck-safety precaution. Many argue Law 4 of FIFA it is about racism and xenophobia as opposed to safety.
Thankfully, I found a fantastic club in my area devoted to Youth Soccerand eventually I became the convener for the women’s division. There was all level of skill- ranging from varsity elite to beginner.
Because there were no restriction on type of hijab, many different women decided to join. They felt less judged and accepted. No concerns regarding eligibility due to hijab. 
For those who are much more competitive and looking for serious football, it may have been frustrating at times. A good run in an enjoyable environment but not the full organization and competition they may have craved. But the only option available. Not anymore thanks to ResportOn’s Pro Release design. It uses tiny magnets that can be released quickly, as opposed to velcro and uses dry fit materials. It has met all medical standards and criteria by IFAB.
The prototype of this headscarf was thoroughly researched, tested and re-tested. It is also affordable.
I had a few concerns regarding the initial IFAB approval. One of which was accessibility and price.
Had the scarf been designed by a large multinational company, then the product may have been too expensive for a young girl to purchase. That would had further isolated many girls from communities. Thus creating an atmosphere of privilege. 
Thus far ResportON hijabs are approx $60 CDN. Hopefully the price for the new design will not be much higher. For highly competitive Muslim athletes, that can be considered as necessary as their football boots and shin guards; a part of their kit. Not a clothing item that would have to be purchased too frequently- depending on the amount of play and product care. 
A large company may have tried to sell the hijab at a high-end price rendering the product which is suppose to include a minority football playing demographic, unattainable.
Another issue of concern would be whether now that a specific hijab is permitted on-field, 
would all Muslim players representing Muslim countries be required or expected to wear it?
Part of the philosophy of women in sport is choice, freedom and the health benefits of play.
Forcing a woman to wear a headscarf because it is permissible by FIFA rules, would go against the spirit of women playing football.
The importance of choice whether it be to play or to wear hijab are inextricably linked. 
The operative word being choice.
Now many more women around the world from varying parts will be able to represent their country in international play. The do not have to feel they have to choose between observing a part of their faith they feel is mandatory or choosing their passion for football.
There are Muslim women participating at International levels but until now, they were not permitted to play in FIFA sanctioned tournaments or games wearing a headscarf.
The result of that was equating hijab with an inability to advance to the highest level of women’s football in the world. 
When FIFA issues a formal statement and introduction of said hijab, smaller clubs, national and provincial Football Organizations should follow suit and adopt a policy that they disregarded or previously avoided delving into.
Hijab-wearing women could represent Iran, Canada, France, Germany, England, Turkey, China, Afghanistan and even the United States at high levels.
It will allow give way to younger girls and women being allowed to play in recreational and /or in semi-competitive leagues. It will open the idea to have women participate and join in whereby living fuller, healthier lifestyles and sharing interests.
The fact that will be far more women at trials for various clubs and communities is hugely important. Increases competition and awareness of equality within sport. 
The optics of a Muslim women competing is a powerful thing. This summer the London Olympics had many Muslim women represented as participants. In fact it was the first time every nation competing had females athletes- including Muslim countries that had previously not had female competitors.
Now many Muslim countries can compete with full squads in football to what has already become an incredibly exciting sport to watch
Canada is hosting the Women’s World Cup in 2015. It will be a time of excitement, welcome and more attention to the World’s game- particularly the Women’s game.  At that point FIFA would have fully allowed the participation of strong teams on which players wear hijab: Egypt, Iran, Yemen; rendering this a more inclusive, open and accessible sport.
I wait for a final statement from IFAB with some trepidation.
The implications of this are huge for women in the world today. Many footballers will not have to watch from the sidelines anymore.
To have Muslim women participate in the beautiful game, the world’s most popular sport, shall only heighten the majesty of the world of football which may now include all types of women- hijabi footballers included.


FIFA decides on Hijab Design

Football's world governing body FIFA met to decide the design of the official hijab for women.
The traditional Islamic headscarf was approved for use in July by the governing body, allowing women to wear a sport-specific headscarf. 
And there has been a competition on how the hijabs will look like.
This interview takes place before the decision with Montreal based fashion designer Elham Sayed Javad hopes  her design, one of the two studied  on soccer fields around the world, gets the approval.
Today she announced the good news with her fans that one of her designs receives approval.
Javad called her prototype's role in the decision the "biggest thing that I could have achieved".
Her soccer hijab uses a custom-made magnetic system that allows it to be opened and released instantly, if the headscarf is pulled from anywhere around the neck.
Al Jazeera's Daniel Lak reports from Montreal.