Sports goods chain Decathlon withdraws runner's hijab

French sports goods chain Decathlon won't sell a runner's hijab in France after plans to commercialize the veil caused controversy in the deeply secular country.

Decathlon head of communications Xavier Rivoire told RTL radio on Tuesday that the chain won't be selling the runner's veil in France until further notice after the announcement of its marketing sparked a social media backlash.

Several French politicians called for a boycott of Decathlon products and Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said she would have preferred that a French company refrained from promoting the veil.

Decathlon initially said the runner's hijab responded to the needs of some runners.

Three years ago, an all-encompassing swimsuit known as the burkini and worn by a small minority of Muslim women caused controversy in France after some French mayors banned it.