France's Council of State has upheld the FFF ban on headscarves ©Getty Images

France's highest administrative court has permitted the French Football Federation (FFF) to ban headscarves in competition.

The Council of State issued the ruling despite Les Hijabeuses' campaign against the ban.

The collective advocates for the rights of Muslim women to wear hijabs while playing football and was formed in 2020 in response to the FFF ban on hijabs.

The latest decision is expected to reignite the debate of secularism in France which is a constitutional principle in the country that discourages religious involvement in Government affairs.

Last year, the Senate voted on and passed an amendment that banned "ostensible religious symbols" in competitive sport.

This was challenged by Les Hijabeuses to the Council of State but the motion has put a serious dent in their campaign.

The group argue that the ban conflicts with FIFA rules which have allowed women to play in a hijab since 2014.

The Council of State said Sports Federations "may impose on their players an obligation to wear neutral clothing during sporting competitions and events, in order to guarantee the smooth running of matches and prevent clashes or confrontation," as reported by CBC.

"It considers that the ban imposed by the FFF is appropriate and proportionate," the statement continued.

Les Hijabeuses disagree with the FFF ban on headscarves, saying that it contradicts FIFA rules ©Getty Images
Les Hijabeuses disagree with the FFF ban on headscarves, saying that it contradicts FIFA rules ©Getty Images

It is not certain whether or not the ban would be implemented for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games next year.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin is vehemently against the wearing of hijabs in sport.

"You don't wear religious clothes when you play sports," he told RTL Radio

"When you play football, you don't need to know the religion of the person in front of you."

Conservative senators tried to introduce an amendment to a law last year that would have extended the ban on headscarves to all sports competitions.

They argued that neutrality was required and that headscarves could put wearers at risk while they compete.

This was rejected in Parliament following a heated debate.

Les Hijabeuses have received support from French footballing greats Eric Cantona and Lilian Thuram and are expected to comment on the latest developments imminently.