World basketball body eases headgear ban

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MIES, Switzerland (AP) — Basketball's governing body has relaxed rules banning players wearing headgear after criticism it discriminated on religious grounds.

FIBA says it launched a two-year trial before possibly deciding on permanent rule changes after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Existing rules prohibit "headgear, hair accessories and jewelry," and allow only a 5-centimeter headband to control hair and sweat.

Muslim and Sikh players said this was discrimination and were supported by the United States Olympic Committee and India's government.

FIBA says it will send member federations details on how to apply for exceptions in domestic matches.

Players in FIBA 3x3 events can ask approval for headgear that does not threaten their own or opponents' safety.

FIBA says it will review next year whether to allow "tests at the lowest official international level."

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