The German Football Association (DFB) lets transgender, intersex and non-binary people decide for themselves whether they play in a women’s or a men’s team. The new regulation will apply to amateur and youth football as well as futsal from the coming season. The association announced this on Thursday.

People with the marital status entry “diverse” or “unspecified” and footballers who have had their gender matched can then choose between the two entitlements to play. This also applies to transgender footballers, “who can now change at a self-determined time or initially stay in the team in which they previously played”.

As long as the sporting activity while taking medication does not impair the health of the person concerned, the person could take part in the game, “which is why the new regulation excludes doping relevance”. Persons of trust in the state and regional associations should support the affected footballers “in order to keep access low-threshold”, as the association wrote.

DFB ambassador Thomas Hitzlsperger, former international, welcomes the move. The regulation of gaming law would enable players of different gender identities to play, said the former national player in the DFB statement.

So far, the gender entered in the personal documents – male or female – has been decisive for the granting of eligibility to play and allocation from the A-Juniors and Juniors division. So far there has not been an explicit regulation for persons with the civil status entry “diverse” or “unspecified”. Because it has been possible to register as “diverse” in the civil status register since 2018, the number of people with this entry is increasing, the statement said. This applies equally to people who play football, which is why the definition of clear regulations according to the DFB became all the more important. “Because everyone should be able to participate in football,” said the DFB.

The transmission of values ​​in and through football by promoting diversity and the prevention and elimination of discrimination, including on the basis of gender, is explicitly anchored in its statutes as a purpose of the DFB.

The Berlin Football Association was the first state association to introduce a corresponding rule back in 2019, and it has been successfully implemented in practice ever since. The DFB announcement says: “Experience shows that this does not endanger the integrity of the competition. After all, all people have different physical strengths and abilities that only lead to success together in a team, regardless of gender.”

Sabine Mammitzsch, DFB Vice-President for women’s and girls’ football says: “The state and regional associations, but also those responsible at the grassroots level, have been signaling for a long time that there are uncertainties, as in practice with trans*, inter* and non-binary players*. should be dealt with inside. That is why they very much welcome the introduction of a national, overarching regulation on gaming law.”