The French Senate votes to ban the headscarf in sports competitions

The French Senate votes in favor of banning headscarves in sports competitions, arguing that neutrality is a requirement on the playing field.

France’s legislative upper chamber has voted in favor of amending a bill stipulating that the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols is prohibited” in events and competitions organized by sports federations.

In their text, the senators specify that the amendment aims to prohibit “the wearing of the veil in sports competitions”. They add that the scarf can endanger the safety of the athletes who wear it when they practice their discipline.

The amendment proposed by the right-wing group Les Républicains and contested by the French government was adopted by 160 votes in favor and 143 against. A committee made up of members of the Senate and lower house is now expected to meet to find a compromise on the text before it is published, which means the amendment can still be deleted.

It is unclear whether the ban would be implemented for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

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