Main content

100 Women: Assmaah Helal

Fighting football's ban on the hijab - and winning.

Growing up as a hijab-wearing football fan in Sydney, Australia wasn’t easy for Assmaah Helal. From an early age she has worn the hijab and played football. She tells us how she was already self-conscious about this outward symbol of her faith, so to play in a football match wearing it was a big deal.

Assmaah now uses her love of football to help refugees, new migrants and socially disadvantaged children in Sydney, and she speaks to them for Heart and Soul, as part of the BBC's 100 Women season, about the struggle to fit in in Australia today.

She tells us about her fight with the governing body of world football to overturn the ban on players wearing the hijab, and winning.

Presenter: Assmaah Helal
Producer: Phil Mercer
Image: Phil Mercer

To see the 2019 list of the BBC's 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world go to or on Facebook @BBC100Women

Available now

27 minutes