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France: Basketball rules excluding Muslim women players from competitions are 'discriminatory'

Ahead of the Annual General Assembly of the French Basketball Federation on Saturday (14 October), Amnesty International is calling on the Federation and the French Ministry of Sport, Olympic and Paralympic Games not to discriminate against Muslim women players who wear religious headgear. 

Anna Blus, Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher in Europe, said:  

“Excluding Muslim women basketball players who wear religious headgear from competitive matches is not only discriminatory and a violation of their rights to freedom of expression, health, private life and religion, it also flies in the face of the duty to ensure basketball is accessible by all sportswomen.

“Rather than imposing discriminatory rules that target Muslim sportswomen, the French Basketball Federation and French authorities should use the opportunity of the General Assembly to revise existing rules to ensure they protect and don’t violate human rights, as well as end the harmful discourse and negative stereotypes that only serve to fuel Islamophobia, including within sports.”

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