Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency: Newsflash
This is the first trans woman to be authorised to play professionally by the Argentine football federation ahead of her historic debut in the country’s top-flight.
Women’s top-flight club Athletic Club Villa San Carlos first announced the signing of Argentine striker Mara Gomez, 23, in January this year.
However, the trans striker then entered into talks with the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to try and convince them that her background does not give her an unfair advantage over other women in the league.
Mara also used blood samples to show that her testosterone levels are within the parameters designated by the International Olympic Committee for transgender athletes.
The AFA then authorised the striker to participate in the 2020 Transition Tournament, part of the country’s top-flight First Division of Women’s Football, according to a statement by the club on 4th December.
That means she is expected to make her debut in Villa San Carlos’ match against Athletic Club Lanus later today (7 December).
It is unclear if she is expected to be in the starting line up, however her name has been included in the squad, according to a social media post by the club.
The statement added: “After a hard battle and a long wait, Mara Stefania Gomez is able to defend our colours. This news is historical and without precedence for women’s football as she is the first trans player to play professionally.”
According to local media, Mara said that she turned to football after suffering discrimination for being transgender, and her love for the sport kept her from acting on suicidal thoughts.
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