Trans man claims anti-homophobia football tournament is discriminatory

Naith Payton May 15, 2015
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A “Football v Homophobia” event at the University of Nottingham has been accused of discriminating against trans people.

PinkNews reader Luke Hutchinson says he was dismayed to learn that trans players, like himself, were barred from entering the competition without first providing medical records and blood test results in an official application to the Football Association (FA).

His doctor informed him that the cost of providing such evidence would be around £70. The entry fee for the tournament is £7.

Players would also be added to the FA’s official register of trans players.

Mr Hutchinson says this is an unfair requirement just to be allowed to participate in an amateur event.

After writing a formal complaint, he was told it was necessary to follow the rules set down by the FA. He was also told the rules were based on reasons of “physical safety and fairness of competition”.

Mr Hutchinson told PinkNews: “This event is an amateur league charity event to promote inclusivity and equality within football. The University of Nottingham made the choice to run the event in partnership with the FA, so has ultimate responsibility for the rules that they enforce

“I think it’s well out of order that the University of Nottingham are trying to abdicate responsibility for the rules that they are adhering to.

“The double-standard seems to a mockery of the message of the event.”

Mr Hutchinson has the backing of trans advocacy group Press For Change, who have also written to the university to outline why the policy is discriminatory.

On the university’s website it says: “Members of the trans community who wish to participate in the tournament should familiarise themselves with the [FA’s] policy.”

He intends to form a team of both trans and cis men and fight to be allowed to play.

He said: “They [should] consider waiving the FA’s rules, and instead adopt a gender-centred and trans-inclusive approach.

“If a player identifies as a man then they should be allowed to play on a men’s team.

A spokesperson from the University of Nottingham said: “The event is an FA sanctioned competitive tournament. This means the University has to work in accordance with FA rules including those relating to trans players.

“These policies don¹t prevent any individual from entering the tournament, but they do restrict an individual from playing on a preferred team based on gender identity, because the tournament is an open-age event. These rules are based on physical safety and fairness of competition.”

Sports writer Jamie Neal has written about the struggles of being trans in the sports world.

More: football, sport, university of nottingham

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