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Soccer-British MPs ask FA to ban trans players from women's game

(Reuters) - A group of British MPs have called on England's FA to ban transgender players from participating in women's soccer.

The letter, sent by Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates, is co-signed by 47 other MPs and 27 members of the House of Lords, according to British media reports.

The letter says the FA have turned "a blind eye" on the issue and passed the buck to "individual clubs and managers" instead of issuing clear instructions on whether trans players can join women's soccer teams.

"We therefore ask that, without further delay, the FA acts to protect women and girls' football by banning all natal males from playing in women's teams," the letter says.

Reuters has contacted the FA for comment.

The FA currently allows players above the under 16 level to apply to participate in teams of their preferred gender "subject to the approval of the FA on a case-by-case basis".

There is no gender-related restriction on players in the under 16 range.

Transgender advocacy groups say excluding trans athletes amounts to discrimination.

Critics of transgender inclusion in women's sport say going through male puberty imbues athletes with a huge physical advantage that transition does not mitigate.

The inclusion of transgender athletes in women's events is one of the most contentious and divisive issues in sport with World Athletics and World Aquatics among global federations that have tightened their rules.

World governing body FIFA is also reviewing its transgender eligibility policies.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)