The Quebec Soccer Federation will continue to uphold a ban on turbans, its board of directors decided yesterday.
The decision comes despite a directive last April from the Canadian Soccer Association to referees permitting the head coverings.
Turbans, including the patka and keski typically worn by young Sikhs, haven’t been allowed on Quebec soccer fields since last year, when the QSF began cracking down on them.
"It was decided that referees in Quebec will apply FIFA’s Law 4, taking into account that the only equipment accepted, and that the only exceptions allowed, are specifically mentioned in Law 4," the QSF said in a press release.
Referees who don’t follow the rules could be subject to sanctions.
The international soccer governing body FIFA hasn’t yet made a clear ruling on turbans (see an image of Law 4 below).
The World Sikh Organization of Canada also issued a press release, saying it was "deeply saddened" by the decision, saying it hoped "better sense would prevail."
"While girls are permitted to wear headscarves, I fail to see the logic in prohibiting turbans for Sikh boys," said the group’s president Prem Singh Vinning in the press release.
"Sikh children have waited patiently since last year for this issue to resolve so they can rejoin their peers on the pitch. Unfortunately, they will have to wait even longer."