FA considers letting footballers 'choose their identity' in England following German precedent

Women's football team

Transgender footballers could be allowed to pick which team they play for

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 03/04/2023

- 09:58

Updated: 03/04/2023

- 11:33

The football governing body is in talks with its German counterpart

The FA is to consider letting footballers in England decide for themselves if they play in men's or women's teams.

The football governing body said it was in the process of "consulting with and listening to" its counterpart associations around the world about how to tackle the participation of transgender women in female sport.

Among those it is liaising with is thought to be the German football association (DFB) which this season introduced a policy of allowing transgender and non-binary players at an amateur level chose for themselves which teams they should play for.

It means transgender women are not required to lower their testosterone levels to play in women's teams.

Headshot of DFB diversity ambassador Thomas Hitzlsperger

DFB diversity ambassador Thomas Hitzlsperger said the FA were in talks


DFB diversity ambassador Thomas Hitzlsperger has hailed the approach being taken in Germany and said that the FA had been in touch to better understand the policy.

The English football governing body is looking at what policy it should adopt on the matter.

An FA spokesperson told BBC Sport: "Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at the FA and we are passionate about celebrating and supporting the diversity of our national game.

"Our transgender policy has enabled many positive outcomes for people who wish to enjoy and play football either in their affirmed gender or in a safe and inclusive environment.

"This important subject is complex and is constantly evolving, and as a result, like many other national governing bodies in sport, we are currently reviewing our transgender policy for English football.

"We are consulting with and listening to all of our stakeholders in the game, including engaging with Fifa and Uefa, who are in the early stages of their own consultation process, as well as other international football and sporting governing bodies, including the other home nations."

It comes as sports associations around the world grapple with how to deal with inclusivity for trans athletes.

Last month World Athletics president Lord Coe announced a ban on transgender athletes from competing in female category events.

Coe felt the best way to "protect the female category" was to ban all male-to-female transgender athletes who have been through male puberty from female world ranking competitions from March 31.

He said: "The decision was taken in consultation with a number of stakeholders, including 40 member federations, our coaches, our athletes and through the athletes commission as well as a range of other community groups including UN experts, the International Olympic Committee and Para Athletics.

"The majority of those consulted stated that transgender athletes should not be competing in the female category.

"Many believe there is insufficient evidence that trans women do not retain an advantage over biological women and want more evidence that any physical advantages have been ameliorated before they are willing to consider an option for inclusion into the female category."

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