You are currently viewing Nouhaila Benzina: First Player to Wear a Hijab at a Women’s World Cup
Morocco's Nouhaila Benzina Makes History as the First Player to Wear a Hijab at a Women's World Cup

Nouhaila Benzina: First Player to Wear a Hijab at a Women’s World Cup

Nouhaila Benzina: In a groundbreaking moment at the Women’s World Cup, Nouhaila Benzina from Morocco made history by being the first player to wear a hijab during a match.

This remarkable event took place during Morocco’s hard-fought 1-0 victory against South Korea on July 30, 2023. FIFA had approved the use of head coverings for religious reasons in 2014, allowing players like Benzina to represent their faith while playing.

The match was held at Hindmarsh Stadium in Australia, and it showcased the talents of both teams. However, it was Benzina’s decision to wear a hijab that captured the attention and admiration of fans and players alike.

Her choice to wear the hijab while playing sent a powerful message of inclusivity and diversity in women’s football, breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes.

Benzina’s journey to the World Cup was filled with challenges, as she had to overcome various obstacles to pursue her passion for football. Her determination and skill eventually led her to represent her country on the grand stage of the Women’s World Cup, becoming an inspiration to countless young girls who dream of playing football despite societal limitations.

Nouhaila Benzina
Morocco’s Nouhaila Benzina Makes History as the First Player to Wear a Hijab at a Women’s World Cup

Throughout the match, Benzina’s focus was on the game, and she displayed her technical skills and tactical prowess. As a defender, she proved to be a formidable force, intercepting passes and providing crucial support to her teammates. Her hijab did not hinder her performance but instead added a meaningful representation of diversity to the sport.

Morocco secured their victory early in the 6th minute of the match when Ibtissam Jraidi scored with an assist from Hanane Ait El Haj. The crowd celebrated not only the goal but also the historic moment created by Benzina’s hijab-wearing presence.

The response from the football community and fans worldwide was overwhelmingly positive. Social media was flooded with messages of support and admiration for Benzina’s achievement. Prominent figures in the sport, fellow athletes, and organizations praised her courage and highlighted the importance of promoting inclusivity in football.

Benzina’s triumph sparked conversations about representation and acceptance within the Muslim community. Her achievement is seen as a significant step towards normalizing the hijab in women’s football and empowering Muslim women athletes to compete at the highest level while embracing their identity and beliefs.

Her performance and impact on and off the pitch have already left a lasting legacy. Sports brands are showing interest in endorsing her and using her image to promote diversity and gender equality in sports.

This newfound visibility may open doors for more opportunities for Benzina and other athletes facing similar obstacles.

As the final whistle blew, Nouhaila Benzina’s name was forever etched in history as a trailblazer and a symbol of progress in women’s football.

Her hijab-clad appearance shattered stereotypes and showed that football is a sport for everyone, regardless of their race, religion, or background. Her passion, skill, and courage have paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse future in sports, leaving an inspiring mark for generations to come.

Nouhaila Benzina: Resources

Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.