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Nouhaila Benzina Makes History as First Player to Wear Hijab at the World Cup for Morocco
Morocco's Nouhaila Benzina marks a historic moment as she becomes the first player to wear a hijab at the World Cup, breaking barriers in women's football.
Morocco secured a vital 1-0 victory against South Korea on Sunday, keeping their hopes alive in the 2023 Women's World Cup. The win came as redemption after their heavy defeat to Germany in the opening match. With this victory, Morocco advanced to three points from two matches, while South Korea remains at zero points with only a minimal chance of reaching the knockout stages.
In a historic moment, Morocco's defender Nouhaila Benzina became the first player to wear a hijab at in a World Cup game. The 25-year-old, who plays for AS FAR (Association’s Sports of Forces Armed Royal) in Morocco, donned a white Islamic headscarf as she played the entire match. FIFA had authorized the wearing of head coverings for religious reasons in 2014, allowing Benzina to make history on the international stage.
Captain Ghizlane Chebbak expressed the honor of being the first Arab country to participate in the Women's World Cup, emphasizing the responsibility to showcase the achievements of the Moroccan team. "We feel that we have to shoulder a big responsibility to give a good image," Chebbak told reporters before the tournament.
Assmaah Helal, a co-founder of the Muslim Women in Sports Network, lauded Benzina's trailblazing moment, expressing confidence that it would inspire more women and Muslim girls not only in football but across various sports and decision-making roles.
Morocco, currently ranked 55 places below South Korea in the women's world rankings, showcased their determination with an early breakthrough. The team's debut in World Cup football has already been marked by making history and achieving a significant milestone in the sport.
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