Soccer with turbans organized as protest in Quebec

Published: June 6, 2013

Local Sikhs play pick-up soccer next to the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar in the Lasalle area of Montreal Wednesday.John Kenney / THE GAZETTE

MONIQUE BEAUDIN
THE GAZETTE

MONTREAL — It’s a typical scene on a summer evening in Montreal – boys and young men kicking around a soccer ball in a pickup game.

But for the group playing on a LaSalle soccer pitch Wednesday night, it wasn’t just a friendly, all-ages game.

Because they were almost all wearing small turbans called patkas, the two dozen players aren’t allowed to play soccer in recreational or competitive league games in Quebec.

The game, on the soccer pitch at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh temple, was organized as a protest against the decision by the Quebec Soccer Federation to uphold a ban on religious headgear on soccer fields.

The World Sikh Organization of Canada says the ban affects between 100 and 200 boys living in LaSalle, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Pierrefonds and some off-island communities.

“I registered this year, but I’m not allowed to play,” said 17-year-old player Dilpreet¬†Singh.

When the high school student, who has played soccer since he was a little boy, registered to play soccer in LaSalle this spring, he was told he probably wouldn’t be able to play because of the QSF ban. Urged on by his mother, he registered anyway. A few weeks later, he got a call to pick up a refund for his registration fees.

The ban was only partly enforced last season,¬†Singh¬†said. Some referees let him play, others didn’t.

“I thought it would be overturned because it was so bizarre,”¬†Singh¬†said.

Lachine resident Devinder Singh said he wonders what kind of impact the ban will have on young Sikh boys.

Dilpreet Singh plays in a pick-up soccer game next to the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar temple in the Lasalle area of Montreal Wednesday. John Kenney /THE GAZETTE

“You’re asking them to choose between their sport and their faith, between their passion and their family,” he said.

He said he has played soccer for 20 years and never had any complaints about wearing a turban.

Several people at the game said they were bewildered by the QSF ban.

“How did it come up? How is it that all of a sudden turbans are hazardous?” said Amrik¬†Singh¬†Gill. “No one has a problem with a doctor, or a health-care worker, or a bus driver wearing a turban.”

Chatter Singh, secretary general of the LaSalle temple, said a soccer tournament is being planned for June 15 that will be open to any teams that want to play.

 

Related stories:

mbeaudin@ montrealgazette.com
twitter.com/moniquebeaudin

Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »

CABS1

Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you‚Äôre feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That‚Äôs the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province‚Äôs Passenger…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_RAPE_PROTEST_217126232

Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

CABS1

Heaving, hurling taxi patrons will now be charged a $75 cleanup fine

THE CANADIAN PRESS If you‚Äôre feeling queasy, step away from the cab. That‚Äôs the advice from taxi drivers across British Columbia after the province‚Äôs Passenger…
Continue Reading »

Homicide investigators are on scene at a stabbing in Surrey.

Homicide investigators on scene of stabbing in Surrey

VANCOUVER DESI A man is dead following an early morning stabbing in Surrey. Surrey RCMP were called to the 10600-block 135A Street in Whalley shortly…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij poses with Barinder Rasode at his new South Surrey restaurant My Shanti at an event Thursday night. Submitted photo.

Will Vikram Vij‚Äôs ‚Äėsupport‚Äô be enough to push Barinder Rasode into Surrey mayoralty ring?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Still yet to officially announce a bid for mayor this fall, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode had an endorsement party of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

232-teeth tumour gum

Indian teen boy gets 232 teeth removed from “very rare” tumour in his jaw

VANCOUVER DESI A 17-year-old boy in India underwent a seven-hour long operation on Monday to have a whopping 232 teeth removed from a ‚Äúvery rare‚ÄĚ…
Continue Reading »

basketball

Indian minister criticizes ‘no-headgear’ rule after Sikh basketball players told to remove turbans during Asia Cup

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India’s sports minister has criticized the ‘no-headgear’ rule of basketball’s world body FIBA after two Sikh players on the…
Continue Reading »

Greece

Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-weight lifter-Commonwealth Games-Glasgow

Surrey weightlifter Parm Phangura bound for Commonwealth Games

MICHAEL BOOTH SURREY NOW FLEETWOOD ‚ÄĒ 163+205=368. That stark equation scrawled in the top corner of a chalkboard means little to a casual observer, but…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra fought with professional boxers while shooting Mary Kom

IANS Mumbai ¬†– Actress Priyanka Chopra fought with real boxers in Mary Kom, a biopic on the five time World Champion boxer. She says it…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Akshay Kumar to host dance reality show Dare 2 Dance

IANS Gurgaon ¬†– Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar, who has played host of TV adventure reality series Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi in the past,…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-ARTS-CINEMA-BOLLYWOOD

What stunt scared Jacqueline Fernandez the most while filming Kick?

IANS Mumbai — Superstar Salman Khan has done a lot of action and stunts in Kick and the film’s leading lady Jacqueline Fernandez says that…
Continue Reading »