Transgender and non-binary footballers can now decide themselves whether to play
for a men
s or womens team instead of being bound by personal identification data,
included in the DFB match regulation for amateurs, the junior regulation and the
Previously, it was the gender specified in a person’s identification documents that
determined their eligibility to play for a men’s or a women’s team.
But since 2018, Germans have had options of ‘diverse’ and ‘no reference’ in the gender
section of ID documents.
“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
The ruling does not cover professional football in Germany, for example the
England’s FA states that under-18s may play in a mixed team, or a girls’ or boys’ team,
regardless of their birth sex, but transgender players who are 18 and over have to
apply for approval to play in their affirmed gender.
Critics of transgender athletes’ participation in women’s sports say they retain a
disproportionate advantage to their peers. However, transgender athletes and their
supporters argue for inclusion and say measures, such as reducing testosterone,
help to level the playing field.
On Tuesday, FA chairwoman Debbie Hewitt said the debate over the inclusion of
transgender athletes in women’s sport is “a really tricky subject”.
The DFB’s ruling comes in the same week that swimming’s world governing body Fina
voted to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite races if they have
gone through any part of the process of male puberty.
Last week, the UCI – cycling’s world governing body – toughened its rules, doubling
the period of time before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete in