Fifa reviews transgender rules on how to deal with trans footballers

World Football Association
“Respect for human rights”: Fifa is also reviewing transgender rules

An LGBTQ demo in Vienna (archive image)

© Hans Punz / AFP

The world swimming association Fina has done it, now other sports are following suit: The world football association Fifa is also working on new guidelines for dealing with trans people.

The issue of transgender is becoming increasingly important in sport. The world swimming association Fina recently changed its rules for the participation of trans people in competitions, which particularly affect women’s competitions. For example, trans women are not allowed to start with women unless gender reassignment is complete by age 12, which is almost never the case.

The world football association Fifa is now 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 on Tuesday.

Fifa: Clear commitment to respect human rights

On the one hand, Fifa relies on the specifications 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 dealt with taking into account Fifa’s “clear commitment to respect human rights,” it said on Tuesday.

The International Rugby League followed the example of the world swimming association Fina on Tuesday and is banning 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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