Trans people can vote: DFB suddenly a role model when it comes to human rights

Trans people are allowed to vote
DFB suddenly a role model when it comes to human rights

The German Football Association lets transgender, intersex and non-binary people decide for themselves whether they play in a women’s or a men’s team. The new rules are praised by all sides and stand out from those of other large associations.

The German Football Association (DFB) has passed its own regulation on the right to play for trans, inter and non-binary people. According to this, from the 2022/23 season, players with the gender entry “diverse” or “unspecified” can decide for themselves whether they want to play for a women’s or men’s team. The same applies to all people who have their gender changed. Trusted persons should help with the granting of the right to play.

“Football stands for diversity, and the DFB is also committed to it,” said Thomas Hitzlsperger, DFB ambassador for diversity: “By regulating gaming law, we are creating further important prerequisites to enable players of different gender identities to play .” The regulation was included for amateur football in the DFB game regulations as well as in the DFB youth regulations and the DFB futsal regulations.

Until now, the gender “male” or “female” entered in the personal documents was decisive for the granting of the right to play. There was no separate regulation for the entries “various” or “unspecified” that have been possible since 2018. Now trans players can decide for themselves at any time whether they want to switch to a team of the opposite sex.

Berlin Association as a pioneer

The Berlin Football Association had already introduced corresponding rules in 2019. According to the DFB, experience has shown that the integrity of the competition is “not endangered” by this. It was also clearly regulated that people can take part in the game as long as the sporting activity while taking medication does not affect the health of the people concerned. The regulation thus excludes a doping relevance.

“So important and right that the DFB has cleared this hurdle,” commented Christian Rudolph, member of the national board of the LSVD (Lesbian and Gay Association Germany) and head of the DFB contact point for LGBTIQ+ issues in professional and amateur football, in the social media Media: “Amateur football in particular has to be there for everyone. It was a long process, together with football and the community. Now more education and support is needed, but for the moment I’m relieved.”

The Federal Association Trans also praised the DFB in the highest tones. “This is a decision that goes in the right direction,” spokesman Gabriel_Nox Koenig told SID: “No one has ever thought of people with the civil status ‘diverse’ or ‘unspecified’. They think far enough, that’s it an informed matter.”

There was also approval from the government district in Berlin. He very much welcomes this decision, said the federal government’s queer commissioner, Sven Lehmann. “With this, the DFB is underscoring its efforts to ensure the acceptance and participation of LGBTIQ people in football. With the new regulation, football can demonstrate its role model function. Everyone should be able to play football without discrimination,” said the Greens politician to the German Press Agency.

The world football association FIFA is also working on new guidelines for dealing with trans people. “FIFA is currently revising its regulations on gender equality in consultation with experts,” a FIFA spokesman told the German Press Agency earlier this week.

On the one hand, FIFA relies on the guidelines of numerous interest groups for medicine, law, science/performance and human rights. In addition, the world association referred to the IOC Framework for Fairness, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity and Gender Differences from November 2021. Since the process has not yet been completed, one cannot comment on the details of the proposed changes to the existing regulations at the moment.

Should FIFA be asked to review the eligibility of a trans person to play before the new regulations come into force, each individual case will be treated taking into account FIFA’s “clear obligation to respect human rights,” said world football’s governing body.

Other associations restrictive

The International Rugby League followed the example of swimming world governing body Fina earlier this week and banned transgender athletes from international women’s competitions until further notice. Fina had set new rules for trans people on Sunday. Thereafter, they may only enter women’s competitions if they have completed their gender reassignment by the age of twelve. There are also considerations of a so-called “open” competition category.

According to its chairman Sebastian Coe, the World Athletics Federation could also possibly follow the new Fina rules. Last week, the International Cycling Federation also updated its rules for admitting transgender athletes with stricter limits.

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