The German Football Association made a historic decision on Thursday, allowing transgender, intersex and non-binary people to choose whether they want to compete in the women’s or men’s teams, starting from the next football season.
“The regulations state that players with diverse or undetermined personal statuses who have been matched by gender can decide in the future for themselves whether they are eligible to play in a women’s or men’s team at both the amateur and professional levels,” the DFB said in a statement. “This also applies to transgender players who can now change (their team type) at any time of their choosing or remain in the team they were on,” he added.
Since 2018, many clubs and associations have faced difficulties in registering these people, and a law has allowed in civil documents beside the traditional boxes “feminine” or “masculine”, the term “various” in the section devoted to gender.
The German Football Association drew on the example of the Berlin Football League, which was proactive in introducing similar rules in 2019 “without jeopardizing the integrity of the competition”.
The German federation considered that “regardless of gender, each individual has different physical strength and abilities that only serve the collective success in the team.”
On the other hand, the German federation warns that the drugs that people take during their sexual transition should not affect their performance, otherwise they risk being considered dope.
The move comes a week after the International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced the creation of an “open class” to allow transgender athletes to compete separately.