Transgender soccer players in Germany can choose men’s or women’s team | Soccer

German football is bucking the recent trend of excluding transgender women from women’s competitions by allowing transgender, intersex and non-binary players to choose whether to play on men’s or women’s teams.

On Thursday, the German Football Association passed a regulation for gender-nonconforming players with the marital status “diverse” or “unspecified”.

“This also applies to transgender players, who can now switch at a self-determined time or stay in the team they previously played in,” said the DFB. “As long as the sporting activity while taking medication does not affect the health of the person, the person can take part in the game, which is why the new regulation excludes doping relevance.”

The rules will come into force in the coming season and will be included in the DFB’s rules of the game for youth, futsal and amateur football.

Sabine Mammitzsch, who is responsible for women’s and girls’ football at the DFB, says that there has been a need for clarification for some time. “The state and regional associations, but also relevant people on the ground, have long signaled that there are uncertainties in the accommodation of transgender, intersex and non-binary players,” she said.

“Therefore, they very much welcome the introduction of a national, comprehensive gaming law regulation.”

It follows last Sunday’s global ban of transgender women from women’s competitions and the International Rugby League’s ban of transgender athletes from international women’s matches.

“With the regulation on gaming rights, we are creating further important prerequisites to enable players of different gender identities to play games,” said the DFB’s diversity officer, Thomas Hitzlsperger.

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The rules have been tested at local level by the Berlin Association since 2019. “Experience has shown that this does not endanger the integrity of the competition,” said the DFB. “After all, everyone has different physical strengths and abilities that only lead to success together in a team, regardless of gender.”

The DFB says its state and regional associations will appoint confidants to help gender non-conforming players get their playing rights and will work closely with local anti-violence and anti-discrimination officers to support them.

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