Salimata Sylla, who continues her basketball life in France, wants to return to the official competitions, where she has been banned since January 8, wearing a headscarf.
25-year-old Sylla, who was born in the capital Paris and started playing basketball 14 years ago with the guidance of her sisters, competed in the jersey of Aubervilliers, one of the 3rd League teams.
Nicknamed "Sali", the French basketball player noted that he started wearing a headscarf 3 years ago and struggled with the sports headscarf on the field.
Stating that she does not have any problems in her private and business life due to the headscarf, Sylla said, "My family, my friends, everyone accepts me as I am because I am the same 'Sali'."
Sylla came to her head coach two minutes before the start of the match in the city of Escaudain, where they went to play on January 8, and said, "I'm sorry, Sali, the referee said you can play, but you can't play with your headscarf."
Stating that he talked to the referees on this, Sylla noted that the French Basketball Federation (FFBB)'s statute gave him the justification that "all accessories covering the head are considered 'unsuitable for the game'".
Saying that she decided to establish the "Ball.Her" league after what happened, Sylla said, "I want to create healthy spaces for everyone. It is out of the question for us to find ourselves humiliated on and off the court. Therefore, the 'Ball.Her' Women's League is a place to enjoy the basketball we choose and love. It's here to welcome all girls without discrimination and injustice so that we can get it out."
Emphasizing that the legislation in France and the International Basketball Federation have allowed playing basketball with a headscarf since 2017, Sylla stated that she has not yet received a response from the FFBB about why sports headscarves cannot be played in official competitions.
Reminding that women wearing headscarves can participate in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games to be held in France next year, Sylla argued that women wearing headscarves or sports headscarves in France are excluded from the competitions.