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Morocco’s Benzina 1st to compete in hijab at WC Get hold of US

ADELAIDE, Australia — Stepping onto the sector towards South Korea in Morocco’s second Girls’s World Cup match, defender Nouhaila Benzina made historical past as the primary participant to put on a hijab whereas competing at a senior-level world match.

A FIFA ban on taking part in in spiritual head coverings in its sanctioned video games for “well being and security causes” was overturned in 2014 after advocacy from activists, athletes and authorities and soccer officers.

“I’ve little doubt that increasingly more ladies and Muslim women will have a look at Benzina and simply actually be impressed — not simply the gamers, however I believe determination makers, coaches, different sports activities as effectively,” mentioned Assmaah Helal, a co-founder of the Muslim Girls in Sports activities Community.

Benzina performs skilled membership soccer for the Affiliation’s Sports activities of Forces Armed Royal — the eight-time defending champion in Morocco’s high ladies’s league. She didn’t play in Morocco’s opening 6-0 loss to Germany in Melbourne and needed to wait six days to lastly get her begin within the Group H recreation in Adelaide.

Morocco is the primary Arab or North African nation to qualify for the Girls’s World Cup.

The Atlas Lionesses have been ranked No. 72 on the planet forward of the match and have been overwhelmed by two-time champion Germany, which is ranked second. However the Morocco crew performed with extra freedom in a day recreation towards South Korea, and scored the opening purpose.

“We’re honored to be the primary Arab nation to participate within the Girls’s World Cup,” Morocco captain Ghizlane Chebbak instructed reporters earlier than match, “and we really feel that we’ve got to shoulder an enormous accountability to present an excellent picture, to indicate the achievements the Moroccan crew has made.”

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