Saturday, December 2, 2023

Morocco’s Nouhaila Benzina Becomes First Player to Wear Hijab at World Cup

On Sunday, Nouhaila Benzina from Morocco achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first player to wear a hijab at a World Cup during their 1-0 victory over South Korea.

The 25-year-old defender was on the bench for Morocco’s first match, where they lost 6-0 against Germany. However, in the crucial match against South Korea, she was selected to start by manager Reynald Pedros.

Fifa allowed the wearing of head coverings for religious reasons in 2014, and Benzina wore a white Islamic headscarf throughout the entire match. Her outstanding performance helped Morocco secure a vital victory, keeping their hopes alive for qualifying to the knockout stages in their World Cup debut.

Benzina plays for AS FAR (Association’s Sports of Forces Armed Royal) in Morocco and is the first player to wear a hijab at a senior women’s international tournament.

Before 2014, Fifa had banned the hijab due to health and safety concerns, but they changed the rule before the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.

Currently, Morocco, Germany, and Colombia all have three points each, and they are competing for advancement to the next stage. South Korea, with zero points, will be eliminated if Germany avoids defeat in their upcoming match.

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