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Jay
19 Aug 06,, 23:11
Men can watch women's soccer, rules Pak

Reuters
Posted online: Saturday, August 19, 2006 at 1642 hours IST
Updated: Saturday, August 19, 2006 at 1646 hours IST

Karachi, August 19: Football authorities in Pakistan have dropped restrictions on men watching women play soccer a senior official said on Saturday.

"Anybody can come and watch the matches. We have made adequate security and seating arrangements for everyone," Pakistan Football Federation technical director Mir Farooq said.

When the women's championship was launched last year in this Muslim country, the PFF did not allow unaccompanied men to watch. Only men who came with their families were allowed in.

Farooq said the women players had to wear baggy track suit trousers and long-sleeved shirts and their matches were to be supervised by a women referee, helped by one male and one female assistant.

"We want to promote women's sports but we are also aware of the sensitivities associated with women's sports," he said.

Women regularly take part in sports including soccer and cricket but they are supposed to follow strict dress codes that ensure their bodies are covered and they are segregated from men.

National football coach Tariq Lutfi said more women were playing soccer, particularly after the World Cup. As a result, 12 teams are taking part in this year's competition, up from eight last year.

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=72642

Time and again, the used to be resident Pakistani WAB members said, Pakistan is as progressive as it can be. I remember Pakistanis commenting on Irani or Saudi (?) law that barred men watching women playing soccer.

Its quite a surprise that it happened in Pakistan, the moderated, enlightned one. I wonder why none of the Pakistanis posted this in anywhere and discussed it. May be it was RAW's conspiracy??

I'm glad that the moderator of Pakistan did not order the women to play in burqa's.

Karthik
20 Aug 06,, 08:19
Quite an achievement, actually.

Whatever happened to women not being able to run marathons though! ;)

Jay
21 Aug 06,, 19:55
Another acheivement...

Pakistani women swimming faster in full-length suits'
Monday August 21 2006 01:40 IST

PTI

COLOMBO: Competing in full-length skin swim suit does not put Pakistani women swimmers at a disadvantage, says Rubab Raza, the first woman from the country who made it to the Olympics at Athens in 2004.

"I don't think it pegs us back at all. In fact I think it allows you to swim faster," says the 17-year-old.

"It covers the whole body, fitting it like second skin. Australia's champion swimmer Ian Thorpe, who popularised and wore it for the first time, is a standout example," she told PTI in an exclusive interview.

It was thanks to these skin suits that Pakistan could allow its women swimmers to compete at the international stage as exposure of the body is a taboo in the country.

"It was only after these full-length suits were introduced that we could start competing in international meets around six years ago. In fact, even back home we could not swim in the usual short swim suits."

Rubab made many heads turn when she set out to compete at the biggest world stage in the Greek capital by virtue of being a young Pakistani girl brought up in a strict Islamic environment.

A head-turner otherwise as well -- what with disarming looks and a charming smile -- Rubab has had to content with pressure from within and without.

But she appears to be coping up with it all well, having bagged a bronze in 50 m Freestyle in the SA games here on Saturday and all geared up to improve her performance further in the four individual events to follow.

"When I started, swimming was a male bastion. But becoming the first swimmer from Pakistan at Olympics was a huge step. Now Pakistani women swimmers have improved their performances further in almost every international competition."

Rubab, whose personal best is 29.01 seconds in 50M Butterfly which she clocked in Islamabad nationals, says competing outside the sub-continent especially in Europe does still attract a lot of attention, some of it unwarranted.

"When we travel abroad as to Europe, we attract more attention because we come from a Muslim background and Islamic traditions," she says.

"But things are improving, people worldwide are accepting our participation. There are no longer those discomforting stares. Even in Pakistan, it does not feel uncomfortable. Media has been covering our game and swimming has indeed got a boost. People's perception to the sport is changing and more and more young girls are taking to the sport."

Being trained by a Chinese expert, Rubab is training her sights on bagging a medal for her country at the Doha Asian games in December. "My coach is working hard with me. I am losing time at the finish which I need to work on. I hope my hard work pays off at the ASIAD," she said

http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IES20060820151924&Page=S&Title=Sports&Topic=0&

Hopefully the hardliners will not interfer with this young girl and her sport.
The same happened to India's Sania Mirza, ofcourse she didnt give a $hit about the islamists then.

Ray
21 Aug 06,, 20:04
I whistle up for off side.

The OIC will be very very angry.

The Mullahs will be tearing their beards in shock!