The German Football Association have passed a new ruling which allows transgender, intersex, and non-binary footballers to choose between the men's or women's game at amateur and youth level.
It has been made with the aim of allowing everyone to play football, as there had previously not been regulations in place for individuals undergoing gender reassignment and those who don't fit into the existing male or female categories.
Former Aston Villa, West Ham, and Everton midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, who came out as gay in 2014, is the diversity ambassador for the German FA. He said: "Football stands for diversity, and the DFB is also committed to it.
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"By regulating gaming law, we are creating further important prerequisites to enable players of different gender identities to play."
Sabine Mammitzsch, the vice-president for women's and girls' football, added: "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* that should be dealt with.
"That is why they very much welcome the introduction of a national, overarching regulation on gaming law."
German citizens have been able to register as 'diverse' in the civil status register since 2018, with more and more doing so in the years since. The decision has therefore been made to update the football system.
It's argued it doesn't jeopardise the sporting integrity based on experience with the same rule which The Berlin FA introduced in 2019. The widescale debate around transgender athletes has been centred on that matter.
Perhaps the most famous, swimmer Lia Thomas was recently banned from women's elite competitions. And International Rugby League have followed suit by banning transgender players this week.
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