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Young soccer player disqualified for looking 'like a boy'

Mili Hernandez and her entire team were disqualified from a soccer tournament because she "looks like a boy."
Photo credit:
wowt.com

The Springfield Soccer Club has disqualified a team because they think one of the players “looks like a boy” according to Pink News.

Mili Hernandez is 8-years-old and sports a short haircut. She was preparing to compete in the finals of her local soccer tournament with her team Omaha's Azzuri Cachorros girls club.

But organizers of the event have questioned her gender, believing that she is in fact a male, even after her parents provided insurance card information.

Mili is biologically a female and identifies as a female.

She says she believes her team was disqualified because of her short hair.

“When my hair starts to grow I put it short because I’ve always had short hair,” she said. “I didn’t like my hair long.”

Mili helped her team advance to the finals only to be told they couldn’t play prior to the final match.

“Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy,” she explained. “They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out.”

Local NBC affiliate reached out to the organization for comment, but they did not make a statement. 

UPDATE June 6, 2017: The Nebraska State Soccer Association released a statement after Mili's story went public: 

Press Release Regarding Ray Heimes Springfield Invitational

The Nebraska State Soccer Association was made aware of issues that occurred during the Ray Heimes Springfield Invitational in Springfield, Nebraska this past weekend.

Nebraska State Soccer does not run the tournament, nor is it involved in any of the decisions the tournament makes with regards to rules, players, or teams.

Those decisions are made by the tournament director and tournament committee for each event.

Additionally, Nebraska State Soccer would never disqualify a player from participating on a girl’s teams based on appearance.

However, it is important to note that the roster submitted to the state by the club identified this player as male, and the competition rules for US Youth Soccer do not allow boys to play on a girls’ team.

Nebraska State Soccer promotes the game of soccer to players of all ages, genders, levels, and interest.

Furthermore, the NSS Bylaws specifically prohibits conduct that discriminates against any individual on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, marital status, sex, and/or sexual orientation.

While we are disappointed that a player was denied the opportunity to play, that decision was made by entities other than the Nebraska State Soccer Association. Thanks Casey Mann Executive Director Nebraska State Soccer