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Finnish Football Association collaborates with Nike to offer sports hijabs

Finnish Football Association collaborates with Nike to offer sports hijabs

Finland seeks to promote equality, inclusion, and diversity in sports

When joining a sports team, young athletes are provided with jerseys, shorts, socks, and all other necessary items. Now, the Finnish Football Association and Nike have collaborated to ensure that the needs of female athletes from all backgrounds are also taken into account.

More specifically, they have announced that they will offer Nike Pro sports hijabs to the athletes who require them. By doing so, the Finnish Football Association and Nike make it clear that they seek to promote holistic equality and that they will not tolerate discrimination in sports.

Taking this further, this action alleviates the fears and anxieties of thousands of young women who may otherwise feel hesitant to become part of a team that may not understand their needs – or worse,  dismiss them altogether.

Everyone has the right to participate in sports

In a press release by the Finnish Football Association, Development Manager Heidi Pihlaja explained that the Association is constantly working to ensure that sports are available to everyone, regardless of the player’s gender, religion, race, etc.

“Finland is more diverse and we want to take better account of the different needs when girls become part of the football family – the game is open to everyone. With our example, we hope to encourage other sports federations to participate in the promotion of equal exercise and sports,” Pihlaja shared.

President of the Finnish Football Association Ari Lahti also commented on the need for such actions, noting that successful athletes are role models for many young people. As such, it is crucial for the association to demonstrate the importance of equality, inclusion, and diversity.

During the design stage of this project, the equality and inclusion expert Sara Salmani was consulted. Salmani commented on the significance of this project, noting that Islamophobia is still present in the world today. For this reason, Finland’s step towards diversity carries tremendous importance as it has the power to incite change.

Football clubs will be able to order Nike Pro sports hijabs for free from the Finnish Football Association after this spring.

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