The German Football Association lets transgender, intersex and non-binary people decide for themselves whether they play in a women’s or a men’s team. The new regulation will apply to amateur and youth football as well as futsal from the coming season. The DFB announced this on Thursday.

People with the marital status entry “diverse” or “unspecified” and footballers who have had their gender matched can then choose between the two entitlements to play. This also applies to transgender footballers, “who can now change at a self-determined time or initially stay in the team in which they previously played”.

He very much welcomes this decision, said the federal government’s queer commissioner, Sven Lehmann. “With this, the DFB is underscoring its efforts to ensure the acceptance and participation of LGBTIQ people in football. With the new regulation, football can demonstrate its role model function. Everyone should be able to play football without discrimination,” said the Green politician of the German Press Agency.

As long as the sporting activity while taking medication does not affect the health of the person concerned, the person could take part in the game, “which is why the new regulation rules out doping relevance,” the DFB said. Representatives of the state and regional associations should support the affected footballers “to keep access low-threshold.”

So far, the gender entered in the personal documents – male or female – has been decisive for the granting of eligibility to play and allocation from the A-Junior division. So far, there has not been an explicit regulation for people with the civil status entry “diverse” or “unspecified”.

The Berlin Football Association was the first state association to introduce a corresponding rule in 2019, and it has been successfully implemented in practice since then. Experience has shown that this does not jeopardize the integrity of the competition.