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Girls’ football league may be AXED for not letting boy play!

A girls’ football league, one of the largest in the country, is in danger of being shut down for not allowing a boy to take part in their games!

It has been reported that a row between the Football Association (FA) and the operators of a Yorkshire girls’ football league after parents had complained that their son had not been allowed to take part in matches.

The West Riding Girls Football League has been threatened with sanctions and possible suspension by the FA if they do not allow boys to take part on the pitch in their matches.

The situation has been called ‘a massive threat to the girls’ game’, as those involved with inspiring young female footballers worry about the repercussions of the debate.

An emergency meeting was called last week by the league, which houses over 6,000 U18s girls who play across over 300 teams. During the meeting, managers of the league voiced opinions that allowing boys to participate in the league would ‘open the floodgates’.

The West Riding Girls Football League are in a dispute with the FA over allowing boys to play in their matches.

The dispute began at the end of October last year, when a young boy’s parents asked the West Riding Girls Football League to allow him to join them on account of his ability level, and his not wanting to play with other boys.

The league declined the request, which lead to his parents filing an appeal with the West Riding Football Association, who are overseen by the National FA.

The FA allegedly said that the league were ‘in no position to refuse the application’ and that they could face possible sanctions if they did not allow boys to join in their games.

Despite admitting that ‘physical strength, stamina, or physique’ may give one sex an advantage in unisex matches, the FA’s gender policy states that U16s teams must allow both boys and girls to play.

This would mean that the West Riding Girls Football League would have to bow to the parents’ wishes in a move that could undermine the integrity of the female football system on the whole.

It was pointed out by furious coaches and members of the league, that there are various unisex leagues in the area that the parents could have signed their child up for.

Girls' football leagues and unisex football leagues are both common in the area where the dispute is taking place.

One female club manager said: ‘We’ve spoken to parents and the girls themselves, a number of them we’ve ‘rescued’ from mixed sex leagues where they have been excluded from having the ball passed to them, where they have been tackled and had bones broken. 

She went on to say that parents had already voiced that they would remove their daughters from the league, if boys were allowed to join in.

An email from the league’s secretary to its members last week read “‘This is a massive threat to the girls game and we should be mindful that this could be a long struggle should we fight this head on.”

A member of sex-bases rights group, Sex Matters said “The law is clear that female-only sport is allowed. It’s sex discrimination for the FA to tell girls they must accept a male player.”

A spokesman for the FA indicated that the association were looking into the matter and trying to find the appropriate way to proceed.

He said “West Riding FA is working with the relevant league and associated clubs on this matter, and we will continue to support them so that an appropriate solution can be found for all. We want to ensure everybody has the opportunity to play junior football, including within mixed teams if that is the best option.”

“We have rules in place which are designed to create opportunities for boys and girls to play football together, and to ensure no child feels excluded from our game. Our County FAs across the country continue to work with leagues and clubs to ensure the rule which allows mixed football is used responsibly and in a way that benefits everybody playing the game.”

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