Deutscher Fussball-Bund to allow transgender players to decide teams

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Germany’s ruling football body on Thursday adopted a new regulation that allows transgender, intersex and non-binary players to decide for themselves whether they want to play on men’s or women’s teams. The new guideline, which enters into force from the youth stage upwards in the coming season, contrary to the recent bans on transgender or non-binary athletes.

“Football stands for diversity, and the DFB is also committed to this,” said Thomas Hitzlsperger, Deutscher Fußball-Bund’s ambassador for diversity, in a statement. “With the regulation of the right to play, we create further important conditions to enable players of different gender identities to play.”

The decision stems from a need for clarity following a change in 2018 that allowed people to mark a box in the gender of German personal identification documents for “miscellaneous” or “no reference” in addition to “male” and female. “

“State and regional associations, but also those responsible at grassroots level, have long signaled that there is uncertainty about how to deal with transgender, intersex and non-binary players,” said Sabine Mammitzsch, who oversees women’s and girls’ football. for DFB. “They are therefore very pleased with the introduction of a national, overarching regulation on the right to gamble.”

The battle for the future of transgender athletes

The regulation comes as organizations in other sports have moved to restrict transgender and non-binary athletes from competing.

The International Rugby League on Tuesday indefinitely excluded athletes who have gone from man to woman from international competition, “until further research is completed to enable the IRL to implement a formal transgender inclusion policy.”

Swimming’s world governing body, FINA, announced on Sunday that it voted to restrict transgender athletes from competing in female elite events. The policy effectively excludes most transgender women from top swimming events, including the Olympics. And Cycling’s governing body last Thursday set stricter limits on eligibility rules for transgender athletes.

While these orders affect international sports participation, similar rules have continued to spread across the United States, with Louisiana earlier this month becoming the 18th state to ban transgender women and girls from playing on female school sports teams.

Willi Ereiser contributed to this report.

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