Asian Games: Qatar basketball women quit Asian Games

Asian Games: Qatar basketball women quit Asian Games
Members of the Qatar women's basketball team (L) walking off the court.

INCHEON - The Qatar women's basketball team at the centre of protests over wearing hijab headscarves have left the Asian Games before their final match on Friday, officials said.

The 11 women and their coaches arrived back in Doha early Friday, a team spokesman said. The women forfeited their games in the tournament saying the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had banned them from wearing headscarves.

Their final game was to be against Kazakhstan on Friday.

In response to the protests, FIBA strongly denied there was any "religious connotation" in the longstanding ban.

It is starting to allow countries to use headgear in national contests and said in a statement that there could be "tests" on allowing headgear in international tournaments from mid-2015.

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