Acting AFC president Zhang Jilong happy with hijab rule change

Iran's womens' national team had to forfeit an Olympic qualifier last year as they weren't allowed to wear the garment, but IFAB and Fifa have made strides to resolve the issue
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) acting president Zhang Jilong has thanked the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for the decision to reconsider the controversial hijab ban.

FIFA vice-president HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein presented the case to IFAB in London on Saturday and it was unanimously accepted by the eight members.

The final ratification of the law will be completed on July 2, as further testing takes place on hijab technology to make it safe after it was previously seen as a safety risk and choking hazard.

"I thank the IFAB for doing the right thing," Jilong told "This positive decision will remove all barriers and bring in more women players into the game."

Midway through last year, Iran's womens' national team were forced to forfeit an Olympic qualifier as the officiating referee wouldn't allow them to wear the garment.

Jilong also thanked Al Hussein for addressing the issue on behalf of women footballers worldwide.

"HRH Prince Ali deserves my heartiest congratulations for the determined manner in which he took up cudgels on behalf of the women players who were stopped from playing football because they wore hijabs," he said. 

"HRH Prince Ali convincingly proved that the hijab is more of a cultural symbol than a religious one."

Jilong added: "This is one more great, reformative measure under the leadership of (Fifa) president (Sepp) Blatter and will go a long way in popularising the game among women."

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