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Qatar women's team quits Asian Games over hijab ban

Qatar's women's basketball team has withdrawn from the Asian Games after a request to wear hijabs during competition matches was refused.

The Qatari women's team was scheduled to face Nepal at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon. Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

The team pulled out of its opening game against Mongolia after learning the players would not be allowed to wear the head-covering scarves and failed to turn up to face Nepal in the second competition match.

Qatar's sporting delegation announced the players were returning home from the South Korea games and blamed the rules for failing to accommodate the women's wishes.

We're not forfeiting games - we're not being allowed to play. On the one hand, everyone wants more women to participate in these games and, on the other hand, they're discouraging Muslim women who want to play in hijab.

– Qatar delegation chief Khalid al-Jabir

Officials at the Asian Games said the hijab was denied as part of rules restricting the use of headgear in competition.

The Nepalese team left the court after being awarded the walkover victory. Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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Fifa: Partners have '100% confidence' in investigation

Fifa have stated that its commercial partners have "100 percent confidence" in an ongoing investigation into the 2022 Qatar bidding process.

Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil issued a statement saying:

We are in constant contact with our Commercial Affiliates including Adidas, Sony and Visa and they have 100 percent confidence in the investigation currently being conducted by FIFA's independent Ethics Committee.

Our sponsors have not requested anything, that is not covered by the on-going investigation by the Ethics Committee.

– Fifa marketing director Thierry Weil

Visa expects Fifa 'to take appropriate action' over claims

World Cup sponsor Visa has said it expects football's governing body Fifa to take "appropriate actions" after claims of wrongdoing made by the Sunday Times regarding the award of the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Credit card company Visa sponsors the World Cup but says it does not get involved in the administration of football Credit: Martin Keene/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Visa said in a statement that it "does not take part in the administration of sport", but added: "We expect Fifa will take the appropriate actions to respond to the report and its recommendations."

"We understand Fifa is taking this matter seriously and we will continue to monitor its internal investigation.

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Adidas: Negative debate on Fifa 'not good for football'

World Cup sponsor adidas said they are "confident" the allegations of corruption surrounding Qatar's World Cup bid were "being dealt with as a priority".

A spokeswoman told ITV News:

Adidas enjoys a long-term and successful partnership with Fifa that we are looking forward to continue.

Having said that, the negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners.

Sony expects Fifa to 'adhere to its principles'

World Cup official partner Sony has said that they expect Fifa to stand by its principles, after claims of wrongdoing regarding the Qatar 2022 bidding process were published in The Sunday Times (£).

Sony told the newspaper: "We continue to expect Fifa to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play across all aspects of its operations."

Sony expects Fifa to adhere to its principles of integrity, ethics and fair play. Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The call comes as The Sunday Times released a new batch of secret documents on the bidding process.

Miliband: Case to reopen bid if 'startling' evidence is true

Labour leader Ed Miliband said there was an "overwhelming case" for the World Cup 2022 bidding process to be "reopened immediately" if the allegations made by The Sunday Times were proven to be true.

Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Mr Miliband told the newspaper their allegations were "startling".

His comments come after the newspaper published fresh allegations against former Fifa vice-president Mohammed bin Hammam, in which they claim he used the wealth of Qatar to influence members of Fifa's executive committee.

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