German football is letting transgender players CHOOSE whether to play with men or women – because their federation says it “DOES NOT compromise the integrity of the competition” – even as other sports are tightening their rules on trans athletes
- Many sports federations are renewing their policies towards transgender athletes
- Rugby league and swimming have taken tough stances on transgender players at women’s events
- But the German Football Association, the DFB, says transgender players can choose “independently” whether to play for a men’s or a women’s team
- So far, German football has resisted the trend of most sports associations on this issue
- Thomas Hitzlsperger, DFB ambassador for diversity, said: “Football stands for diversity, and the DFB is also committed to it.”
After the announcement of new regulations by the DFB, German transgender footballers can choose “independently” whether they play for a men’s or a women’s team.
Trans and non-binary players can choose for themselves which team they play for, contrary to the actions of many sports federations in recent days, which have reviewed their policies towards transgender athletes.
The governing body of English football, the FA, is taking a ‘case-by-case’ approach but is preparing to refine its rules overall.
The dispute over the inclusion of transgender players is dividing sport worldwide with FIFA among those reviewing its policy towards trans players.
It was announced on Tuesday that the International Rugby League has banned trans women players from playing in women’s internationals pending further investigations.
This followed the decision by world governing body FINA to bar trans athletes from competing in elite women’s races if they have gone through part of male puberty.
But German football has bucked the trend and given athletes the right to vote; In the past, the gender of players at youth level would determine whether they played for a men’s or women’s team.
After the announcement of new regulations by the DFB, German transgender footballers can choose “independently” whether they play for a men’s or a women’s team
It was announced on Tuesday that the International Rugby League has banned trans women players from playing in women’s internationals pending further investigations
The dispute over the inclusion of transgender people is dividing sport worldwide, with FIFA, among other things, reviewing its policy towards trans players
“Since it has been possible to register as ‘diverse’ in the civil status register since 2018, the number of people with this status has increased,” said the DFB.
“This also affects people who play football, making the need for clear rules more important.
Thomas Hitzlsperger, DFB ambassador for diversity: “Football stands for diversity, and the DFB is also committed to this”
“Players with a “diverse” or “unrelated” personal (gender) status, as well as players who change their gender, can choose to be eligible to play on a men’s or women’s team.
“This also applies to transgender footballers who can now change (teams) at a moment they choose or stay with the team they played for.”
“Experience has shown that this does not endanger the integrity of the competition. Because everyone has different physical strengths and abilities that only lead to success together in a team, regardless of gender.”
Ex-Aston Villa and West Ham player Thomas Hitzlsperger, DFB ambassador for diversity, said: “Football stands for diversity, that’s what the DFB stands for too. With the regulation of gambling law, we are creating further important prerequisites to enable players of different gender identities to play. ‘
The Post on Sunday revealed FIFA had drawn up radical rules that would allow footballers to compete as their self-identified gender, meaning trans women can participate in women’s football regardless of their testosterone levels. That was applauded by human rights experts but criticized by sports scientists for detracting from fairness.
However, just days later, it is believed that FIFA could instead go along with FINA’s stance.
Football’s governing body told Sportsmail it is still deliberating on its gender suitability provisions and is taking guidance from many stakeholders – medical, legal, scientific/performance and human rights – as well as the IOC’s Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination Framework of gender identity and gender variations’.
The mention of the Intentional Olympic Committee is telling, with the IOC saying last year it should not be assumed that a trans athlete automatically has an unfair advantage in women’s events. The IOC decided to allow individual sports to set their own eligibility criteria.
Last week, the UCI announced stricter eligibility rules for trans women, halving the testosterone limit and doubling the transition period to two years.
World Athletics President Lord Coe has also confirmed they are re-examining their approach and said ‘biology’ should take precedence over ‘gender’. The International Tennis Federation and International Boxing Association told Sportsmail they are reviewing their rules.