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World governing body officially allows turbans in soccer following Quebec controversy

Aneel Samra, 18, holds a soccer ball in his backyard Wednesday, June 5, 2013 in Montreal. Samra has not been able to play organized soccer since last year due to his religious headgear.

Ryan Remiorz/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Soccer's international rule-making body has officially decided to allow players to wear religious headcovering during games.

The International Football Association Board, which sets the rules for FIFA, made the decision today — extending a two-year trial period during which hijabs and turbans were allowed on the field.

The decision follows a period of controversy in Quebec.

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The province's soccer federation came under fire last summer — and was even suspended by the Canadian Soccer Association — for enforcing a ban on turbans and other religious headwear.

The federation lifted the ban after FIFA clarified last June that such headwear was acceptable.

A spokesman for the Quebec Soccer Federation says they are satisfied with the decision and plan to follow the rules.

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