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World governing body officially allows turbans in soccer following Quebec controversy

Aneel Samra, 18, holds a soccer ball in his backyard Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Montreal. Samra has not been able to play organized soccer since last year due to his religious headgear.


Soccer's international rule-making body has officially decided to allow players to wear religious headcovering during games.

The International Football Association Board, which sets the rules for FIFA, made the decision today — extending a two-year trial period during which hijabs and turbans were allowed on the field.

The decision follows a period of controversy in Quebec.

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The province's soccer federation came under fire last summer — and was even suspended by the Canadian Soccer Association — for enforcing a ban on turbans and other religious headwear.

The federation lifted the ban after FIFA clarified last June that such headwear was acceptable.

A spokesman for the Quebec Soccer Federation says they are satisfied with the decision and plan to follow the rules.

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