Veiled Iranian women’s rugby team makes European debut

August 2nd, 2010 - 2:09 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug.2 (ANI): Rugby and women may not seem ideal in deeply Islamic Iran, but women’s rugby has been growing in popularity since the game was introduced in that country more than 10 years ago.

According to The Telegraph, this weekend marked the team’s first time in Europe when they took part in a sevens tournament.

The first match in Cortina D’Ampezzo, in the Italian Dolomites, ended in two defeats against the host nation losing the first match 10-0 and the second 33-0 however they did beat club side Valsugana 10-3.

In all the matches, the team played wearing the ‘Maghnaeh’, a veil that fully covers the head, shoulders and neck, along with red tracksuit tops and bottoms. Iranian team coach Fatme Molai, who has been in the job for four years, said: “Wearing a veil does not change our method of play - clothes are something you wear and don’t influence what you know how to do.”"To be honest, the federation are looking at other head covers which are perhaps more practical. This was our first tournament in Europe and although we didn’t win as we did in Laos and Thailand I am very happy,” Molae added.Captain Zohre Eyni, 22, said: “The whole team has learnt how to keep the veil in place so that it doesn’t interfere with play and I think we have shown that even a physical game like rugby can be played in a veil.

Eyni added: “There are no risks playing in a veil, as I said what is important is that you arrange it safe and well, what you have to be careful with is losing your tracksuit bottoms in a tackle or scrum.” (ANI)

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