The Swedish Basketball Federation has submitted a permit to a Stockholm-based basketball team Huddinge, allowing one of the players, 17-year-old female Muslim Noha Berhan, to participate in games with her hijab on.
Up until 2014, the the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had banned basketball players from wearing hijab during games, stating that the religious garment could pose a safety threat and could obstruct team uniformity.
Berhan, who has played basketball since she was seven, had stated that although she loved the game, she was unwilling to take her hijab off to play and that if FIBA did not change their rule, she would just return to training and coaching.
Berhan’s cause received a lot of support on social media, namely on Instagram and Facebook with #BackNoha, #FIBAAllowHijab and #HoopingWithHijab
The decision to fully lift the ban on hijabs is expected to be fully reviewed this year. For now, the ban has been suspended.
Berhan’s win to wear the hijab is one step forward for female Muslim athletes. Elimination of any discriminatory rulings is definitely encouraging for any young females who want to practice their religion as well as pursue their professional goals.