Players allowed to wear kippot
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Players allowed to wear kippot

Austria Soccer Champions League Tel Aviv
Schechter celebrating with his kippah

Israel’s football association has suspended its ban on footballers wearing kippot in its minor leagues following a string of protests from players and politicians.

The turnaround comes after pressure from lower league players and officials. Yair Cohen-Tzedek, a player from Jaffa, protested against the prohibition, with reports saying he asked teammates from Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa and fans to all wear kippot at future matches as a sign of solidarity in his campaign to have the new regulation scrapped. Uri Orbach, Israel’s minister for pensioner’s affairs, had said: “The regulation against wearing head-coverings is stupid.”

And confirming players would now be allowed to keep their heads covered while playing, a statement from the Israeli FA said: “Until the end of the season, the status quo will remain for lower leagues, and any observant player who chooses to play with a kippah will be able to do so.”

However, a spokesman for the referees union said: “League matches are conducted according to FIFA regulations, which determine what players may wear on the field. No head gear of any kind is on the list.

“If FIFA issues a different regulation, we will act accordingly.”

In 2010, Hapoel Tel Aviv’s Itay Schechter was yellow-carded in a Champions League qualifying match against FC Salzburg for celebrating a goal by putting on a kippah.

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