HIJABS AND HAT-TRICKS

In March of 2014, FIFA lifted their ban on hijabs, meaning that Muslim women can play international football wearing their traditional headgear. To take advantage of the new opportunity, SARI Young Leaders Abdulkadir Abdallah and Abdul-Rahman Hajji organised the 'Hijabs and Hat Tricks' project, dedicated to encouraging Muslim women to play football and to creating a Muslim women’s football team in Dublin.

After finally getting the chance to play, more than 15 young Muslim girls trained with their coaches for four weeks, making their football debut at the Fair Play Cup on World Refugee Day held by SARI and UNHCR. While the opposing women's team from Mosney put up stiff resistance, the girls from 'Hijabs and Hat Tricks', who named their team Diverse City, would not be denied, winning 2-1 to the delight of a raucous crowd. The girls are still training, and plan on participating in SARI's Soccerfest. 

The Hijabs and Hat Tricks project is sponsored by Sony and Street Football World, who have donated €5,000 to buy tracksuits, training gear, and jerseys. 

Mr. Abdallah says that the Hijabs and Hat Tricks project is all about the players, saying, "We did it for the girls, so they can have the chance to play the sport they love without being discriminated against and show everyone that they can compete at the highest level in women's  football". Since FIFA announced in March 2014 that the wearing of religious head cover is permitted while playing football there has been interest shown among young Muslim women in participation in the game.

The programme was designed by SARI Young Leader Abdul Haji and is supported by streetfootballworld and Sony.

The Hijabs and Hat-tricks programme is open to girls of all faiths and none.

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