Germany: Transgender footballers will be able to choose between male or female teams

A big step for the expansion of the rights of athletes happened in Germany: the German Football Federation will allow transgender, intersex and non-binary players to decide if they want to play in male or female teams.

In this sense, the organization approved the regulation so that non-conforming gender footballers have the right to choose which team they prefer to play for. This measure will come into effect from next season and will apply to youth, futsal and amateur football, although it will not be introduced to professional football.

In addition, they specified: “It also applies to transgender players who can now change at a certain time by themselves or initially remain in the team in which they had been playing previously. As long as the sports activity does not affect the health of the person while taking drugs, the person can participate in the game, so the new regulation excludes the relevance of doping”.

Sabine Mammitzsch, Vice President Women’s Football at the DFB, said: “State and regional associations, but also relevant people at grassroots level, have been pointing out for a long time that there are uncertainties about how to accommodate transgender, intersex and non-binary players. So they welcome the introduction of a comprehensive national rule on the right to play.”

For his part, Thomas Hitzlsperger, who serves as DFB Ambassador for Diversity, added: “Football stands for diversity, and the DFB is also committed to it. With the regulation of the right to play, we are creating more prerequisites important to allow players of different gender identities to play.

Finally, this decision had been tested at the local level by the Berlin federation since 2019: “Experience has shown that this does not jeopardize the integrity of the competition. After all, all people have different physical strengths and abilities that they only lead to success together in a team, regardless of gender.”

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