- FIFA ban on wearing Hijab lifted nearly a decade ago, Paving the way for Nouhaila Benzina’s historic moment at Women’s World Cup
- The 25-year-old defender Benzina ran out against South Korea in Adelaide to write her name in the history books.
ADELAIDE,Australia: Nouhaila Benzina etched her name in the annals of history as the first player to don a hijab during a Women’s World Cup game. The momentous occasion unfolded when she proudly wore the Muslim headscarf while representing Morocco in their match against South Korea on Sunday.
The global governing body of football, FIFA, made a significant decision nearly a decade ago to lift its ban on footballers wearing the hijab, addressing previous concerns about player safety.
Hailing from Morocco, the 25-year-old defender, who also plays for a club in her home country, took the field in Adelaide, creating an inspiring moment that will be remembered for generations to come.
In the build-up to the World Cup, Benzina shared posts on social media expressing her sentiments about wearing a hijab, but she has refrained from engaging with the media in Australia and New Zealand regarding the matter.
“We’re grateful for the extensive efforts made over many years, and thankfully, they have yielded a positive outcome,” she remarked.
“Our aim is to showcase our skills at a high level and make our fellow Moroccans proud.”
Notably, several other sports, including basketball, have also lifted bans on wearing hijab in recent years. However, in France, it is still not permitted during official football matches.
Led by French coach Reynald Pedros, the Moroccan women’s team is making their debut appearance at the Women’s World Cup, having achieved a historic runner-up position at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.