06/10/2013 10:51 EDT | Updated 08/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Canadian Soccer Association Suspends Quebec Group Over Turban Ban


The Canadian Soccer Association announced Monday it was suspending the Quebec Soccer Federation until the provincial group lifts its ban on players wearing turbans.

The association's board of directors announced the suspension, which begins immediately, following a board of directors meeting.

- Turbans are OK, says Canadian Soccer Association

Last week, the association requested that the Quebec body — which banned players from wearing turbans last year — reverse its decision. The federation has not complied, said Victor Montagliani, the association's president, in a statement.

"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," he said.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney tweeted his approval: "Good to see CDN Soccer Association take action against the Quebec Soccer Federation over its ridiculous turban ban."

The federation justified its decision last year by saying it was applying FIFA's Law 4, which dictates the equipment allowed on the field. FIFA doesn't specifically ban turbans, but stops short of specifically permitting their use.

Quebec's soccer group is the only one in the country to have refused to follow the Canadian group's order to allow players to wear turbans.

The Sikh community has estimated that the Quebec Soccer Federation's refusal to permit turbans affects 100 to 200 young players.