Designer Shanaaz Copeland (centre) with her daughters in their football head scarves.
Echoing the message of this weekend’s multicultural round – 'Many Cultures, One Game’ – the AFL has approved a new range of football-themed hijabs, which go on sale today.
The head scarves are the idea of designer Shanaaz Copeland, who has been making hijabs in AFL colours for her football-loving children and friends for years. Deciding there was a wider market for her scarves, the fashion designer presented the novelty to the AFL in 2011, with the hope of empowering Muslim women and girls and helping to break down barriers.
“When you go to the footy, it's not about who you are,” Copeland explained. “It's about people embracing one another and just enjoying their sport together.”
Richmond Tiger’s midfielder and AFL Multicultural Amabassador Bachar Houli told media the move was hugely important for Muslim women who love their football as much as any fan.
“There are so many Muslims who attend the footy, but at times don’t feel like they are part of supporting their team,’’ he said.
“This is a fantastic thing, because now they can wear their football team colours on their scarf, feel like they are part of the game.’’
The 'Unity Sports Wrap' is available in each of the 18 AFL teams’ colours, and can be worn as a neck scarf, headscarf or wrap. The garment retails for $49.95.