German football allows transgender, intersex players to decide whether to play

German football allows transgender, intersex players to decide whether to play

German football is changing its approach to banning transgender women from women's competition by allowing transgender, intersex and non-binary players to decide whether to play in men's or women's teams.

On Thursday, the German football federation passed a regulation for gender-nonconforming players with the civil status diverse or unspecified.

It also applies to transgender players who can now switch at a self-determined time, or remain in the team in which they had previously played, according to the DFB. As long as the activity does not affect the health of the person while they are taking medication, the person can take part in the game, which is why the new regulation excludes doping relevance. The rules will be in place in the coming season and will be incorporated into the DFB's game regulations for youth, futsal and amateur football.

Sabine Mammitzsch, who oversees women's and girls football at the DFB, says there needs to be clarification.

Mammitzsch said that the state and regional associations, but also relevant people at grassroots level, have been signalling for a long time that there are uncertainties about how to accommodate transgender, intersex and non-binary players. They very much welcome the introduction of a national, comprehensive rule on the right to play. It follows the ban of transgender women from women's competitions last Sunday by the World Rugby League and the ban of transgender athletes from women's international matches.

With the regulation of the right to play, we are creating additional prerequisites to allow players of different gender identities to play, said Thomas Hitzlsperger, DFB's diversity officer.

Since 2019 the rules have been tested at local level by the Berlin federation. The DFB said that experience shows that this does not jeopardise the integrity of the competition. All people have different physical strengths and abilities that only lead to success as a team, regardless of gender. The DFB says it will appoint trusted people to help any gender-nonconforming players in giving their right to play, working closely with local anti-violence and anti-discrimination officers to support them.