FIFA, SOCCER'S world governing body, would like to take some time out from all of its alleged backdoor dealings and scandals to make the following decree: Islamic headscarves are a violation of the outfit's dress code and are now banned from all competitions.

However, the kicker here is not FIFA's decision, but its timing.

Just prior to kickoff in a women's Olympic qualifier between Iran and Jordan last Friday, officials decided that the Iranian players' little white headscarves were illegal and disqualified the team. When asked what the dealyo, FIFA said the scarves violated its dress code.

"This ruling means that women's soccer in Iran is over," said former Iranian coach Shahrzad Mozafar, who added that with FIFA's new mandate the Iranian government will no longer send its women's team outside the country to compete. "Headscarves are simply what we wear in Iran."

No word from the International Olympic Committee on this decision, but considering the IOC shares a king-sized bed with FIFA, the answer is probably obvious.

We think there has to be an international human-rights law that trumps this decision. Laying down laws for the sport of soccer is FIFA's job, but when it penalizes a team because of its beliefs - well, that's just criminal.

Which, ironically when it comes to FIFA, sounds about right.

Party all the time

In what can only be a salute to the drunken football fan, the Washington Redskins plan to rip out thousands of seats in the upper level of FedEx Field to construct a "Party Deck."

The team announced yesterday its intent to reduce the stadium capacity from 91,704 to about 85,000 in time for the 2012 season and will sell standing-room-only tickets for the level.

Since Washington left RFK for greener pastures in Landover in 1999, the team is 42-46 at FedEx Field; nine of those losses were against the Eagles. Not much of a reason to party.

- Kerith Gabriel

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