FIFA lifts ban on religious head covers for soccer players

March 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

ZURICH, Switzerland, March 1 (UPI) -- FIFA has lifted a ban on wearing head covers for religious reasons during soccer matches, officials said. The rule change will apply to both men and women.

The rule change, effective June 1, was made following a meeting of the International Football Association Board in Zurich, Switzerland, BBC Sport reported Saturday.

"It was decided that female players can cover their heads to play," said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke. "Male players can play with head covers too. It will be a basic head cover and the color should be the same as the team jersey."

Previously, FIFA, soccer's international governing body, said wearing head covers put players at higher risk for head and neck injuries.

However, a two-year trial started in 2012 proved that there is no greater risk for players who wear head covers.

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