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FIFA REVIEWING GENDER VERIFICATION RULE, AFRICAN FEMALE FOOTBALLERS AFFECTED

The world football governing board says it’s looking to engage human rights experts to review the gender verification regulations which is prohibiting some female footballers from playing with fellow women especially those found with high levels of testosterone as they are seen to have an advantage against their teammates.

Female athletes are increasingly forced to pass gender verification tests a thing which Germany Medical ethicist Claudia Wiesemann described as “ridiculous,” and can have humiliating consequences.

Claudia Wiesemann in 2015 told DW Tv : Well, at first it was, in the 50s and 60s. Back then, it was a purely phyiscal test. Later, it was examined whether the athletes had two X chromosomes. Men usually have an X and a Y chromosome.

Then came more thorough physical tests, which included an exam of the organs in the abdomen. Today, hormone levels are tested in the blood – so how much testosterone a woman has in her blood.

Is it complicated to measure that? Not really. It’s pretty easy to examine testosterone levels. What’s harder is interpreting the results.

She further argued that, there’s no such thing as definite gender verification. Women can have very high levels of testosterone, but their bodies can be completely insensitive to the effects. Some people are more sensitive to testosterone, others less. Women can even have a Y chromosome and still have a female physique. Men and women are merely two extremes of a continuum, and, between these extremes, many different types are possible.

Meanwhile responding to a press query by Zambian journalist Calvin Kaumba Chikenge, FIFA says it is reviewing its gender eligibility regulations.

“FIFA is currently reviewing its gender eligibility regulations in consultation with human rights experts. It is worth noting that since these regulations have been put in place in 2011, no case was brought to FIFA’s attention that would have triggered a procedure to verify eligibility as outlined in these regulations.

“Should FIFA be asked to verify the eligibility of a player before the new regulations will be in place, any such case will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking into account FIFA’s clear commitment to respect for human rights.”

In 2015,the German Women’s National Soccer Team had to supply medical confirmation that all players were indeed women in order to be allowed to play in the Women’s World Cup in Canada this summer and similarly, African national associations were asked to do the same at the Womens’ Africa cup of nations being hosted in Morocco.

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Published by Calvin Kaumba Chikenge

I am a journalist. passionate about culture , sports and developmental story writing.

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