By Andrew Warshaw

Prince Ali_Bin_Al_Hussein_in_tee-shirtNovember 23 - FIFA's youngest Executive Committee member, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, has been mandated by his Confederation to press for women footballers being allowed to wear the hijab, the Islamic headscarf.

Only International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game's lawmakers, can push through any changes defining clothing but Al Hussein has been asked to seek the "favourable reconsideration of the issue by the IFAB at the earliest opportunity."

The hijab has traditionally been banned by FIFA, who will allow women's players to wear a cap provided it goes no further than the hairline.

The demand for a review came from the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) women's committee.

Al Hussein is considered very much a modernist but some will question his intention to put the case for the hijab being allowed at next month's FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Tokyo.

"I am very pleased that the AFC executive committee has endorsed the case for reviewing the Laws of the Game in favour of allowing a safe headscarf [hijab]," said he said in a statement.

"This is a crucial step forward.

"Our goal at the end of the day is to ensure that all women are able to play football at all levels without any barriers.

"I would particularly like to thank AFC vice-president Moya Dodd, who chairs the women's committee, for her valuable work on the issue.

"I also look forward to working with my fellow FIFA exco members to present this case to my colleagues at the FIFA executive committee meeting in Tokyo next month."

Last year Iran's women caused a storm when they forfeited a game – ironically against Jordan – after not being allowed to play with the full Islamic headscarf.

The earliest the IFAB could consider the issue is next March.

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But Al Hussein could have his work cut out.

In recent months there has been a backlash against the wearing of the hijab in public spaces by those who see it as a sign of political or fundamentalist Islam.

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