A transgender footballer for a lower-league South Yorkshire group believes she is being discriminated towards by groups boycotting matches if she is taking part in.
On Rossington Main Ladies FC Facebook web page, Francesca Needham was quoted as expressing her hope the “issue of perceived discrimination against me can be resolved peacefully” with help from the Football Association.
Needham mentioned she was being pressured to give up taking part in for now.
The Football Association informed Sky News: “We are working with Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA to find a resolution.
“This problem is advanced and consistently evolving, and like many different nationwide governing our bodies in sport, we’re presently reviewing our transgender coverage for English soccer to make sure it’s inclusive, truthful and protected for all.”
The FA’s present transgender coverage is that “gender identity should not be a barrier to participation in football” however eligibility is set on a case-by-case foundation.
Players over the age of 16 assigned male at start eager to compete in ladies’s soccer have to point out their blood testosterone ranges are “within natal female range for an appropriate length of time so as to minimise any potential advantage”.
Annual checks are required.
Rossington competes within the seventh stage of the ladies’s soccer pyramid.
Needham wrote that the group has confronted “challenges from teams unwilling to play against us while I am on the field”.
Her assertion added: “This unfortunate circumstance has prompted me to investigate pursuing a case of discrimination, as I believe it represents a breach of the code of conduct regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as safeguarding of adults in football established by both the Football Association and the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League.
“Therefore, in the perfect pursuits of my membership and my supportive teammates who stand beside me, I’ve made the choice to step down from taking part in soccer for the foreseeable future.
“This decision is rooted in the desire to safeguard the team and the club’s trajectory.
“It’s disheartening to acknowledge that this case contradicts every thing within the range and inclusion insurance policies, on condition that I’ve diligently met each single requirement set out by the Football Association to play.
“I sincerely hope that this issue of perceived discrimination against me can be resolved peacefully and promptly, with the full support of the Football Association and the policies they have written and approved.”
Needham mentioned she didn’t need to remark additional.
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It was posted by group secretary Garth Restell, who didn’t reply to requests for remark.
He wrote forward of Sunday’s recreation that it had been “cancelled due to another team pulling out of playing,” including: “In unity we defeat discrimination”.
The Daily Telegraph, which first reported on the case, mentioned the security of gamers was the rationale groups wouldn’t face Needham.
There was no instant reply from officers on the league.