A football team of girls under 11 years were disqualified from a soccer tournament in Nebraska after officials alleged that one of their players, Milagros ‘Mili’ Hernandez, an 8-year-old girl from Omaha, was a boy.
Mili, who has short hair, has been playing soccer for the past three years and has never experienced such a thing.
“I was mad. I never had that problem before. She’s been playing so long in different tournaments. I don’t want no problems with nobody, but that wasn’t the right way to treat people. Why they want to tell my girl looks like a boy?” Her father, Gerardo told the Washington Post.
Mario Torres, Mili’s coach, got a call on the day of the match from one of the organisers saying that the team is disqualified for having a male player in their team. Mili was listed as a boy on the roster which probed the call.
According to The Springfield Soccer Association the misprint in the team’s roster, which identified Hernandez as a boy, was considered as a violation of the state and tournament rules. However, there was another list that listed her correctly as a girl.
The officials did not want to have a look at the documents Gerardo presented before them proving Mili is a girl. Mili was extremely upset, saying, “Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy,” she said. “They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out.”
The Nebraska State Soccer Association clarified, saying that it would never disqualify and discriminate teams and players on the basis of their appearance. However, the Association said that it does not run the tournament and is not involved with the decisions regarding the same. The association has suspended the tournament till a detailed review is not carried out.
This incident has attracted media attention along with criticism on social media. Many high-profile female athletes are speaking out in favour of Mili.
A user, Amsley Pietranton, wrote on the Facebook page of the Springfield Soccer Complex, saying the Springfield Soccer Complex’s Facebook page “to discriminate against a little girl just because of her hair cut is despicable!” she wrote. “Plus a ton of professional female athletes have short hair as it makes it easier. It is 2017 stuff like this should not be happening in the United States!”
Pic Credit: One News Page
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Jagriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV