Minneapolis: A 16-year-old Muslim teen boxer from Minnesota, USA, has won a fight to wear a hijab during competition in the US.
Amaiya Zafar, a devout Muslim from Oakdale, Minn., wears a hijab under her headgear as well as a shirt and leggings under her shorts and top. Such apparel has been deemed a violation of uniform regulations set by the International Boxing Association.
Zafar’s goal is to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is also allowed to cover her arms and legs in accordance with her religious beliefs while competing in her first sanctioned match later this month in Minneapolis under a USA Boxing exemption.
According to the Star Tribune a USA Boxing exemption allows Zafar to adhere to her religious beliefs instead of the mandated sleeveless jersey and shorts.
Zafar said. “You get so invested. My weight is in the right place. My head is in the game.”
Last year when Zafar was about to put on her gloves at the Sugar Bert Boxing National Championships in Kissimmee, Fla., the officials called off the impending fight as a result, Zafar was disqualified.
“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.”