In a historic decision, transgender and non-binary footballers in Germany can now decide if they want to play for a men's or woman's team, without being bound by personal identification data. The German Football Association (DFB) announced last week that this ruling included the DFB match regulation for amateurs, the junior regulation and the futsal book and will come in effect for the 22/23 season.
"At its core, this ruling says that players with a personal (gender) status that is 'diverse' or 'no reference' and players who change their gender can take their own decision whether they will be issued an eligibility to play for a men's or women's team," the DFB said."This is also the case for transgender footballers who can now change (teams) at a moment they decide or can stay on at the team they have been playing for."
Up until now, it was the gender named in a player's personal identification documents that determined the eligibility of footballers and whether they would play for a men's or a women's team. Since 2018, however, apart from "female" and "male," there is also the option of ticking the box for "diverse" and "no reference" under the gender section of personal identification documents in Germany.
"As it is possible since 2018 for people to register in the civil registry as 'diverse', there has been a rise in the number of people with that status," the DFB said."This also affects people who play football which made the need for clear rules more important."
This ruling by the DFB is being applauded as a step in the right direction to celebrate diversity and create a framework of rules for transgender and non-binary individuals to comfortably find their place within a previously binary system of allocating teams.