A Muslim teenager in the US will be allowed to fight wearing a hijab when she competes in her first sanctioned match later this month.
Source:
AAP
22 Apr 2017 - 8:40 AM  UPDATED 25 Apr 2017 - 4:25 PM

A Muslim teen boxer from Minnesota who hopes to one day compete in the Olympics has won a fight to wear a hijab during matches in the US.

Amaiya Zafar will also be allowed to cover her arms and legs in accordance with her religious beliefs while competing in her first sanctioned match this month in Minneapolis under a USA Boxing exemption.

The organisation normally requires boxers to wear a sleeveless jersey and shorts.

"This is a big step," said, Nathaniel Haile, her coach. "She's put a lot of labour into this. She earned the right to showcase her skills, and I'm happy for her. But it's just the first step in letting her achieve her dreams."

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The head covering, marketed under the "Pro Hijab" brand, is designed to allow athletes to observe the traditional Islamic practice of covering the head without compromising performance.

The 16-year-old from the Minneapolis suburb of Oakdale was turned away from a fight in Florida when boxing officials told her she could not wear her hijab, leggings or long sleeves.

Zafar has been ready to jump into competition for some time.

"You get so invested," she said. "My weight is in the right place. My head is in the game."

Zafar said her goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

She still would have to persuade the international boxing organisation, the AIBA, to allow her to box in her modest attire.

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