48 MPs and 27 peers have signed a letter which urges the FA to change its rules on transgender inclusion in order to “protect women and girls” in football.
The letter reads “The FA is the most influential sporting body in the UK and it must show leadership. The FA is more than willing to issue crystal clear instructions to football clubs across the country on a whole range of different matters and yet on this issue it is turning a blind eye and is passing the buck to individual clubs and managers who must decide whether to allow registered trans players to join their teams. We therefore ask that, without further delay, the FA acts to protect women and girls' football by banning all natalmales from playing in women's teams.”
The letter follows reports last month that four teams had withdrawn from matches against Rossington Main Ladies after a shot from a transgender player allegedly broke an opposition players knee. In a now deleted post the player said “As some of you may have heard, Rossington Main Ladies FC has faced challenges from teams unwilling to play against us while I am on the field. This unfortunate circumstance has prompted me to investigate pursuing a case of discrimination, as I believe it represents a breach of the code of conduct regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as safeguarding of adults in football established by both the Football Association and the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League.”
The letter from MPs says the current policy “not only undermines the principle of fairness, it also threatens the safety of women and girls. All sports rely on fair competition. Teams or individuals must compete as far as possible on a level playing field. This is why football, like the vast majority of sports, segregates players by age and sex, to eliminate unfair advantages of size and strength and of course to ensure the safety of all players.”
Many other governing bodies have banned transgender athletes from the female category with the FA now being called on to follow suit.