Ottawa, ON – Brampton Member of Parliament Parm Gill issued a statement today against the Quebec Soccer Federation’s decision to retain its ban on turban-wearing players.
“I am truly disappointed in the recent decision by la Fédération de soccer du Québec,” said MP Gill.
“It is incredibly unfortunate and insulting that, in a nation that prides itself on diversity, such discriminatory regulations are allowed to stand. There is no valid reason for a ban on the wearing of turbans or other religious symbols during athletic competitions.”
“This same organization previously banned wearing of hijabs to prohibit female Muslims from taking part in athletic competitions, until rules were changed to accommodate. There is no reason that cannot or should not also be the case with the Turban.”
Turbans, including the patka and keski typically worn by young Sikhs, were first banned on Quebec soccer fields last year, when the federation began cracking down on perceived violations of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Law 4; a prohibition on the wearing of headgear. The decision to uphold the ban was upheld despite a directive from the Canadian Soccer Association in April calling for provincial associations to allow them.
FIFA amended Law 4 to permit the wearing of Hijabs by Muslim women, arguing there was little additional injury risk, nor performance benefit, to wearing the garment.