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29 Nov, 2020 12:34

‘This simply isn't fair’: Football fans slam decision to allow first elite transgender player in Argentina to make debut next week

‘This simply isn't fair’: Football fans slam decision to allow first elite transgender player in Argentina to make debut next week

Fans have derided Mara Gomez's inclusion in top-flight women's football in Argentina as "embarrassing" and "unfair", reacting after the first transgender player in Argentina announced she had been cleared to debut for her club.

Villa San Carlos newcomer Gomez revealed that she had finally been permitted to play in an emotional social media post on Saturday, admitting that she had never expected her dream to materialize alongside a photo of herself signing official paperwork.

Gomez had been playing in a lower league for Las Malvinas before the move began earlier this year, with the Argentine Football Association reportedly rubberstamping the transfer after a test proved she had acceptable levels of testosterone in her blood.

"Today I am officially a player of the highest category of Argentine soccer," she said, sharing dozens of congratulatory messages she had been flooded with from fellow players and other accounts.

"The road was long - there were many obstacles, many fears and sorrows. [It] made me think that I would not be anyone, that I would never have the opportunity to be happy in my life, but today [that] is reversed.

"I will be fulfilling one of the greatest goals of my life, that I thought...was never going to happen."

The striker will be eligible to play against Lanus on Saturday but many fans were unconvinced by the move.

"Imagine if Messi decides he wants to be a woman next year and carries on his career for 15 more years," laughed one, while others asked for the odds on Gomez being top scorer in the division and questioned whether her involvement in the women's game was fair.

"Shouldn’t be allowed in pro sport," said another. "I respect her wishes to be who she wants to be but, genetically, she is still a man. It’s an unfair advantage."

One reader said that Gomez could pose a physical threat to her rivals, pointing to the example of Fallon Fox, a transgender MMA fighter who was born a man and contentiously allowed to compete as a woman.

Fox fractured female opponent Taika Brents' skull in the opening round of a scrap in 2014, leading to Brents reporting that she had "never felt the strength" that Fox possessed despite being an "abnormally strong woman" herself.

The US Education Department suggested earlier this year that funding could be withdrawn from high schools who allowed transgender athletes to compete as girls, although campaigners claimed that the move was an attack on rights by the Trump administration.

A Gomez supporter on Twitter wrote: "Good on her. Can't wait to see her flourish."

The footballer also offered gratitude for the "opportunity" her clubs had given her and the support and strength her family had provided.

Also on rt.com 'We aren't backing down': New US ruling says letting transgender girls compete in high school sports IS a breach of civil rights