This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The Quebec Soccer Federation has boldly stated to resist any pressure and alleged to uphold its controversial ban on Sikh religious headwear. In an official statement issued by QSF on Wednesday, it stated that the ban on traditional Sikh patkas, keskis and turbans will remain in effect regardless of any outside pressure. Ignoring the decision of The Canadian Soccer Association to suspend the provincial body on Monday, it has refused to give any signal of overturning the ban. However, the Quebec federation added to its statement that it will still attempt to re-establish dialogue with the Canadian Soccer Federation.
Several federal politicians have condemned the ban, whereas one soccer team has decided to wear turbans to games in order to stage pretest against the ban. Coach of the under-14 team, Ihab Leheta, has stated that even though there are no Sikh players in the team, it will still show their outrage. He mentioned that “on Friday, the day before our game on Saturday, the boys were discussing injustice and racism and I asked them, ‘If we had a Sikh boy on our team, what would we do?’ And they said, ‘Well if he couldn’t play, we wouldn’t play’.”
Leheta explained that he didn’t actually know much about Sikhism until this controversy, and has arranged a local Sikh temple to help them in the protest. He stated that “I had to find some turbans for them to wear so I contacted a local Sikh temple, and they were so kind and hospitable and the boys wore the turbans the next day.”