Woman wearing a headscarf took the field for the first time at the World Cup

2023-07-30 14:22:36 | Last Update : 2023-07-30 14:31:17

Morocco, the first Arab or North African country to qualify for the Women's World Cup, broke new ground by fielding a woman wearing a headscarf. Moroccan defender Nouhaila Benzina made history.

Woman wearing a headscarf took the field for the first time at the World Cup

Morocco's defender Nouhaila Benzina, playing in Morocco's second Women's World Cup match against South Korea, made history by becoming the first player to wear a headscarf while competing in a World Cup tournament.

In 2014, FIFA lifted its ban on headscarves for "health and safety reasons" after pressure from activists and soccer officials.

"I have no doubt that more and more women and Muslim girls will look at Benzina and just really be inspired - not just the players, but I think decision makers, coaches, other sports as well," co-founder of the Muslim Women in Sports Network Assmaah Helal said on Sunday.

Benzina played for the Association's Sports of Forces Armed Royal professional sports club as an eight-time defender in Morocco's top women's league. 

Morocco is the first Arab or North African country to qualify for the Women's World Cup.

The Atlas Lionesses were ranked Number 72 in the world ahead of the tournament and were overwhelmed by two-time champion Germany, which is ranked second. But the Morocco team played with more freedom in an afternoon game against South Korea and scored the opening goal.

"We are honored to be the first Arab country to take part in the Women's World Cup," Morocco captain Ghizlane Chebbak told reporters before the tournament, "and we feel that we have to shoulder a big responsibility to give a good image, to show the achievements the Moroccan team has made."

Source: TRT World

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