Football is, and should be an accessible sport for all. The benefits that can derive from it have a physical, mental and social impact and as such equal opportunities to play football should be afforded to everybody.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has a commitment to equality and diversity, and gender should not be a barrier for those who wish to participate in football.
Under the Equality Act 2010, gender reassignment is a protected characteristic and as such transgender and transsexual people are protected against discrimination.
This policy governs participation in domestic football within Wales and those competitions managed by the Football Association of Wales.
It does not govern:-
The state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences, rather than biological ones.)1
A person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex. 2 Most transsexual people actively desire and complete gender reassignment surgery.3
A person who, like a transsexual person, transitions – sometimes with the help of hormone therapy and/or cosmetic surgery – to live in the gender role of choice, but has not undergone, and generally does not intend to undergo genital surgery.4
When a person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part thereof) for the purpose of reassigning that persons’ sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. .5
Football is classified as a gender affected sport in which the physical strength, stamina, or physique of average persons of one gender, would put them at a disadvantage to average persons of the other gender as competitors in events involving the sport.6
Consequently, the FAW’s policy on transgender and transsexual people wishing to participate in football in their affirmed gender is as follows:-
1. Enquiries and applications to play football in an acquired gender to be directed to the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager, who will notify the Head of Compliance and FAW Safeguarding Manager.
2. Enquiries and applications to be handled sensitively and with absolute confidentiality in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Gender Recognition Act 2004, and the Equality Act 2010.
3. Applications to be considered on a case by case basis and directed to a Case Management Panel consisting of the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager, FAW Safeguarding Manager, an appointed medical expert and an appointed legal expert.
4. All transsexual individuals who underwent sex reassignment prior to puberty will be recognised and eligible to partake in football in their assigned gender immediately.
5. When considering an application for a post pubescent transsexual or transgender individual, the following requirements must be satisfied:-
(a) Female to Male Transsexual (Male): the hormone level of blood testosterone is within the natal male range for an appropriate length of time. The individual must provide medical records and undergo annual hormone treatment verification.
(b) Male to Female Transsexual (Female): the hormone level or gonadectomy results of blood testosterone are within the natal female range for an appropriate length of time. The individual must provide medical records and undergo annual hormone treatment verification.
6. In all cases due regard must be given to:-
(a) The safety of and welfare of the applicant and their fellow players.
(b) The need to ensure a fair and level playing field.
7. If an applicant has not undergone hormone therapy or reassignment surgery, the FAW Case Management panel must consider the safety and welfare of the applicant and fellow players, and the need to ensure a fair and level playing field.
8. When making an application, the applicant must provide consent for their GP to provide relevant medical records to the Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager.
9. The FAW Equality, Diversity, Inclusion & Integrity Manager will keep a confidential record of those players cleared to play football in their affirmed gender which may be subject to review.
10. Individuals will be unable to partake in football in their assigned gender until the panel has provided clearance.
11. An applicant may appeal against the decision of the FAW Case Management panel in line with the FAW Appeals Policy.