KYIV: Feverish fence-rebuilding since FIFA Congress in Budapest in May may have rescued the headscarf campaign just in time for decision day in Zurich next Thursday writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

In March the law-making International Board decided that, next week, it would approve a re-designed headscarf for use by Muslim women players at senior level, pending the outcome of further tests.

Comments in Budapest by Michel D’Hooghe, the Belgian FIFA executive member who is head of the medical committee, revealed that the testing process had become mired in miscommunication and confusion. D’Hooghe, at that point, remained opposed to the new headscarf.

The Dutch and Canadian manufacturers involved complained that FIFA had not been in touch about modifications.

Further discussions ensured between manufacturers, D’Hooghe and FIFA vice-president Prince Ali of Jordan who has been leading the headscarf campaign and was furious at the prospect of seeing the International Board delay an approval.

D’Hooghe, in Kyiv for a UEFA executive committee, has now indicated a change of mind. The International Board will lean heavily on the opinion of the medical committee which means, in effect, D’Hooghe and his close ally Jiri Dvorak, FIFA’s medical chief.

Approval for the headscarf,which appeared in danger last month, is now apparently back on track.

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