Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sikh community finds Quebec turban-ban puzzling

Quebec's Sikh community is reacting cautiously to the announcement late Monday by the Canadian Soccer Association that it is "immediately" suspending the Quebec Soccer Federation for "their non-compliance to the directive" that allows turban-wearing children to play the game.

"We're trying to figure out the implications of what this means," said Mukhbir Singh, vice-president of the World Sikh Organization for Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

"At the end of the day, are the children (who wear turbans) going to play this season or next season? That's the most important aspect of this story and what we're trying to understand."

Singh was reacting to the news release by the board of directors of the Canadian Soccer Association on the decision taken on the weekend of June 1-2 by the Quebec Soccer Federation to prohibit the wearing of religious headgear from pitches. The ban was aimed specifically at smaller turbans called keskis and patkas -- pieces of cloth tied on top of the head.

"The Canadian Soccer Association has requested on June 6 that the Quebec Soccer Federation reverse its position on turbans/patkas/keskis with no resolution," Victor Montagliani, president of the association, said in a statement following a meeting of the board of directors.

"The Quebec Soccer Federation's inaction has forced us to take measures in order to ensure soccer remains accessible to the largest number of Canadians."

with thanks : Vancouversan : LINK : for detailed news.

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