For Founé Diawara, the president of the Hijabeuses, football all veiled

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Founé Diawara does not remember this 2015 match very well. Where was it? Against who ? She forgot everything. Except this referee who asked him to remove his veil because, contrary to FIFA rules, article 1 of the statutes of the French Football Federation (FFF) prohibits any wearing of religious symbols during official competitions. Excluded for refusing to remove her headscarf, Founé Diawara followed the game from the bench with ” rage ». His team lost. The footballer no longer remembers the score either.

“3-2 against Villepinte in the Coupe de France”, loose Erwan Gicquel, the coach at the time. He remembers everything. Of the wind, of the rain and of this teenager who “did not let go”, when he needed her on the pitch. Seven years later, the coach continues to tell this story to those around him. Founé Diawara also repeats it in the media, but now as president of the Hijabeuses. The collective was created in May 2020 under the aegis of Citizen Alliance, an association that mobilizes citizens against rules and situations that it considers unfair.

Pious, she denies any proselytism

After filing an appeal with the Council of State against the FFF in November 2021, the Hijabeuses are stepping up their actions against the bill to democratize sport in France. On January 26, they kicked the ball in front of the Senate to protest against an amendment by elected Republicans banning the veil during official competitions. The deputies rejected the amendment on February 8, then the senators rejected the whole text in a new reading on February 16.

The final reading in the National Assembly was to take place on February 24. Meanwhile, the government is divided on the issue. Elisabeth Moreno, Minister Delegate for Equality between Men and Women, supports the right to play football with a veil, while Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate for Citizenship, speaks out against the “proselytism in sports competitions”.

“I didn’t think it would go this far, confesses Founé Diawara, 22, in a café in Romainville, on February 19. We just want to play football. The competition is the consecration of a whole week of training andt the FFF deprives us of it”, she explains. In his voice, neither anger nor rage. She remains so calm that one wonders if all this is really affecting her. “Foune is very strong. She is able to take a lot of things. It’s not for nothing that she is president », commented Anna Agueb-Porterie, community organizer at Citizen Alliance.

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