Two years ago, history was made when FIFA finally allowed soccer players to wear head coverings for religious reasons. This development was literally a game-changer for many men and women.
Prior to this allowance being made, women who normally wore the hijab would either have to play soccer without it, or not play at all.
At one point, Iran protested this ban after its soccer players were prohibited from playing in an Olympic-qualifying match, just because they were wearing headscarves.
The athletic brand Hummel International has officially created the first women’s soccer uniform with a built-in hijab, for the Afghanistan women’s soccer team. This uniform has a full-body base layer, including the head covering, with a jersey and shorts that go on top.
Hummel is “extremely proud” of its hijab-friendly design, and is set on “helping the women play football with or without a hijab.”
The reason why this recently-introduced uniform is such a big deal is because, not only does it give Afghani women who wear the hijab a more legitimate look, it also makes the hijab easier to wear while playing this taxing sport.
These women no longer have to worry about wearing a separate headscarf while playing, which often feels warmer and can also get in the way while playing; now, they can simply put on a base layer under their jerseys and be covered up comfortably from head to toe.
Hopefully, this will start a new trend and inspire the creation of more sports uniforms with built-in headscarves, for other sports and nationalities. Sports headscarves are a great invention, but this uniform makes it easier for athletes to wear a hijab than ever before.