Basketball chiefs reversed a controversial ban on professional players wearing headgear Thursday after fierce criticism that the rule undermined diversity by disallowing religious coverings like the Muslim hijab.

The decision by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) means religious headwear can now be worn on court.

"The new rule comes as a result of the fact that traditional dress codes in some countries, which called for the head and/or entire body being covered, were incompatible with FIBA's previous headgear rule," it said in a statement.

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