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Young soccer player disqualified for looking 'like a boy'

12 Juin 2017

Mili, whose skill pushed her up three age groups within the club, said she keeps her hair short because she prefers it that way.

The girl's team was disqualified from playing in the Springfield Girls Soccer Tournament finals because Mili's short hairstyle led organizers to believe that she was actually a boy.

So, they showed tournament organizers her insurance card and other documentation to prove her gender, but it wasn't enough. The tournament organizers claim that the team was disqualified due to a roster misprint that identified her as a boy.

Mili Hernandez, is a standout player on the Omaha Azzuri Cachorros girls club team.

When asked about her side's disqualification, Mili told local television station WOWT-TV: "Just because I look like a boy doesn't mean I am a boy. So I don't like my hair long", she said. "Even if it was a mistake, they did not need to humiliate her or kick the entire team off the field". "They made her cry".

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Springfield Soccer Club organizers would not comment, but did say Mili's family can appeal the ruling to the Nebraska State Soccer Association. Telling a young girl she can't play in a tournament because of the way she looks is as low as it gets.

Casey Mann, executive director of Nebraska State Soccer, said in a statement that the player's appearance had nothing to do with the decision. Her father, Gerardo Hernandez said "She was crying after they told us. I won championships with short hair".

Nearly immediately, Mili received support from two former-professional soccer stars, both Olympic gold medalists.

A Nebraska family is angry over the way soccer tournament officials treated their 8-year-old daughter's team. It's a stance World Cup winners Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm support entirely. The girl wears her hair cut short. Wambach's post was just as sweet, as she shared a heartfelt letter to the 8-year-old on Instagram.

Her coach Mo Farivari said, "She's a great player".

Young soccer player disqualified for looking 'like a boy'