Tehran : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on  described FIFA as "colonialists" for a headscarf ban in football which affects its women's team.

Mustafa Musleh Zadeh, Iran's ambassador to Jordan, went further by saying the ban was "inhumane" and "politically motivated."

The remarks made by Ahmadinejad were the highest since the team forfeited a 2012 Olympic qualifier against Jordan last Friday because it wouldn't play without the hijabs.

"These are the dictators and colonialists who want to impose their lifestyle on others," Ahmadinejad said in a seasonal news conference. The Iranian president said he'd assigned Ali Saeedlu, the head of Iran's physical education to pursue the case.


We will deal with those who carried out this ugly job," said Ahmadinejad. "We follow definite rights of our girls." Zadeh said Iran would complain to the Asian Football Federation.

FIFA said the ban on the Islamic scarf covering a women's neck was for safety reasons. The ambassador called FIFA's ban "extremism," similar to Afghanistan's Taliban restrictions on women in sports. FIFA banned the hijab in 2007 and has extended the safety rule to include neck warmers. At the 2010 Youth Olympics, Iranian girls protected their modesty by covering their hair with specially designed caps.

 

(Agencies)