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Nouhaila Benzina Makes History as the First Player to Wear Hijab at Women’s World Cup


In a momentous event for women’s football, Moroccan defender Nouhaila Benzina has etched her name in history by becoming the first player to wear a hijab at the Women’s World Cup. The 25-year-old made her groundbreaking appearance in her country’s 1-0 victory over South Korea during the tournament.

FIFA’s Authorization of Head Coverings

FIFA, the governing body of international football, authorized the wearing of head coverings for religious reasons in 2014. Since then, this decision has paved the way for players like Nouhaila Benzina to proudly showcase their religious identity while participating in one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

Morocco’s Debut in Women’s World Cup

This summer’s Women’s World Cup marks the debut for eight teams, including Morocco. Nouhaila Benzina’s presence on the field in a hijab not only represents her personal journey but also symbolizes the growing diversity and inclusivity in women’s football.

A Trailblazing Moment

Nouhaila Benzina, who plays her club football in Morocco, achieved this historic feat during her team’s second match at the tournament. Although an unused substitute in the opening game against Germany, she seized the opportunity to make a profound statement about representation and acceptance in sports.

A Symbol of Empowerment

Benzina’s decision to wear the hijab on the international stage sends a powerful message of empowerment to aspiring athletes around the world. Breaking barriers and challenging norms, she embodies the strength and resilience of women athletes who overcome obstacles to pursue their passion for football.

Inspiring Future Generations

As the first player to wear a hijab at a senior women’s international tournament, Nouhaila Benzina’s trailblazing moment will undoubtedly inspire countless young footballers who dream of representing their countries on the global stage. Her journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of sports, transcending cultural boundaries and inspiring unity through the love of the game.

Celebrating Diversity in Women’s Football

The inclusion of diverse players like Nouhaila Benzina enriches the tapestry of women’s football, highlighting the sport’s ability to embrace players from all walks of life. As the Women’s World Cup continues to showcase the talents of athletes from various backgrounds, it reinforces the message that football is a sport for everyone.

A Milestone for Inclusivity

Nouhaila Benzina’s historic moment at the Women’s World Cup will be etched in football’s annals as a milestone for inclusivity and acceptance. Her unwavering commitment to both her faith and her passion for football demonstrates that individuals should be celebrated for their unique identities, fostering an environment where all players can thrive and excel.


Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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