France bans its athletes from wearing hijab at the 2024 Olympic Games


OLYMPICS France bans its athletes from wearing hijab at the 2024 Olympic Games

Abigael Wafula 20:31 - 26.09.2023

This is not new since France also banned its footballers from playing with hijabs.

Ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games, hosts France, have banned French athletes from wearing hijabs.

As reported by Daily Mail, France’s Minister of Sports Amelie Oudea-Castera passed the news across during an interview with the French political programme Dimanche en Politique.

Explaining the decision of the French government, the minister said that having deliberated with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, officials were seeking 'absolute neutrality' at the Games in the country's capital.

“We have, thanks to a recent decision of the Council of State, expressed very clearly with the Prime Minister our attachment to a regime of strict secularism.

"This means the prohibition of any form of proselytism and the absolute neutrality of public service. The representatives of our delegations in our French teams will not wear the veil.

"The International Olympic Committee, which governs these rules of participation, is following a logic that consists of understanding the wearing of the veil not as a religious factor but as a cultural factor.

"It is based on the provisions of International Federations which are not all the same in this area. There will be heterogeneity between sports,” Oudéa-Castéra said.

However, wearing hijabs on such a big stage is very common since at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first Muslim American woman to wear a veil while competing for the US team.

However, France had already banned footballers competing in the country from wearing veils.

The Under-17 Women's World Cup, held in Jordan in 2016, marked the first time Muslim players were allowed to wear headscarves after the ban was lifted.

But with France still banning the hijab in France, footballers were not allowed to wear them at the 2019 Women's World Cup, which was hosted in the country.

Morocco star Nouhaila Benzina then became the first footballer to wear the headscarf at a World Cup during the the 2023 tournament this year.