A major breakthrough has occurred in the UK were the Football Association, the governing body of football (aka soccer), has decided to admit transgender players. Here’s the story from TRIS REID-SMITH writing for Gay Star News…
Football Association in UK has groundbreaking trans policy
Photo via Gay Star News
Britain’s Football Association has today thrown open the door for trans soccer players to be themselves on the pitch at every level in the game.
Most sports, including the International Olympic Committee, openly discriminate against or ban transgender athletes saying they are too masculine or feminine to play on either female or male teams.
But now the FA, long criticized for not doing enough to tackle LGBTI bigotry in soccer, has made a major breakthrough.
In a meeting held this afternoon (25 November) at the home of British soccer, Wembley Stadium in London, football insiders were told about a new policy to let trans people play in their affirmed gender.
All they have to do is contact the FA to seek clearance.
The application will take the form of a confidential conversation with the applicant and details of the evidence that The FA would require will be discussed with the person concerned.
The aim will be to let trans people play while making sure the sport is fair and safe for everyone, Transsexuals in Sport founder Delia Johnston told GSN.
‘It is groundbreaking and it sets out a way trans people are able to play and be involved,’ she added.
‘A lot of my trans friends involved in football have said this is what people have been waiting for.
‘Perfection would be that we never have to talk about it again. But as a benchmark I would give this new policy 15 out of 10.’
The FA is the first soccer governing body in the world to take this step and one of the few sporting bodies to be so advanced.
It could also be a model for the other 284 officially governed sports in the UK.
Funke Awoderu, The FA’s equality manager, said: ‘This is a pioneering move for football and one which is designed to help give visibility to the trans community.
‘It is something true to The FA’s mantra that football really is for everyone and I’m pleased this provision has been made to trans people wanting to get involved in our national game.’
Representatives from some of the UK’s leading teams, including Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were at the event today.
They rubbed shoulders with the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, Kick It Out, Just A Ball Game?, Stonewall and Transsexuals in Sport.
A second event will be held on 2 December. Both are designed to tackle the significant LGBTI bullying and bigotry in the game.
You can read the trans policy as well as browse a list of FAQs here.
Read more here at Gay Star News