Women’s World Cup, historic turning point: the Moroccan Benzina for the first time on the field with the hijab


By John

“If Allah helps you no one can beat you.” Nouhaila Gasoline after writing it several times he will have thought it, taking the field in Adelaide with his own Morocco: a match that somehow breaks another taboo, because the defender of the North African national team played in the hijab, setting a first time at the women’s soccer world cup. No one had ever played with the veil before.
The ban by Fifa fell in 2014 (until then it was forbidden to take the field with the Muslim headgear for safety reasons), and today the 25-year-old Benzina has made history. The defender of Asfar and the red-green national team had not played in the opening match against Germany, while he started in the match against South Korea won 1-0 by Morocco which thus remains in the running for qualification for the World Cup.
However, the scene was stolen by all Benzina, on the field with the second uniform (all white) of his national team, headgear, arms and legs covered. Groups of hijab supporters cheer: “It’s really significant” to see a player wearing a headscarf on such an important stage. Benzina “represents many of us who never thought we’d be able to witness it all one day.” The veil worn by women to cover the head and shoulders in sport has always caused discussion: and if Nouhaila has become a pioneer for showing it for the first time in the women’s world cup, other athletes over the years have carried on the battle to be able to use it without incurring bans and disqualifications. Asma Elbadawi, Sudanese-British, basketball player and coach did it. She is known for having presented a petition with which she managed to convince the international federation to remove the no to the hijab. At the Rio 2016 Olympics she had conquered the cover of her Doaa Eighobashy, Egyptian born in 1996, who with her teammate, Nada Meawad wore the hijab during a beach volleyball match against Germany. against the German national team.
Ibtihaj Muhammad was instead the first American Muslim athlete to compete wearing the veil: the fencer made history, also winning an Olympic medal and even inspiring a Barbie on the platform with the veil. Sarah Attar, born in California but of Saudi origins, also competed in track and field athletics with her head covered: she competed in London 2012 and then in Rio (800 meters and marathon) with her head veiled, respecting the Islamic rule of the country of origin in clothing matter. Nouhaila did it too, at the Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, which became the scene of a historic first time: she, the player who is all about football and Allah, makes no secret of her great passion for football and her fidelity to religion.