Qatar women basketball team backs out from Asian Games due to headscarf ban

Qatar officials handling the country's women basketball team said they had to back out due to Islamic headscarf ban.

Qatar women's basketball team in Incheon Asian Games

"FIBA didn't let our players play with the headscarves and so we had to withdraw from the tournament", said Ahlam Al Mana, head of Qatar's women's sports committee.

Although Qatar knew of the headscarf ban in advance, they still flew to South Korea with the hope to change FIBA's mind. But things did not go well as expected.

"We knew about the hijab ban, but we have to be here. We have to show everyone that we are ready to play, but the International Association is not ready.",  Al Mana told reporters.
Qatar cried foul over the headscarf ban. It argued that what happened was basically against the Olympic's goals, more so with the Asian Games' slogan "Diversity Shines here".

Qatar women basketball team were supposed to take on Mongolia on Wednesday to open the women's basketball competition at the Asian Games in Incheon. Due to the ban, Qatar's game got forfeited.

"As far as I know it's an issue of the international basketball federation, not the Asian Games." - Asian Games spokesperson to Reuters.

Comments from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) are yet to be heard, Rappler said in its article.

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