Notts football v homophobia tournament cancelled after transphobia claim

An anti-homophobia has been accused of discrimination


University of Nottingham have cancelled a Football Vs Homophobia tournament after criticism over its discriminating policy against transgender players.

Luke Hutchinson, a transgender man and Nottingham student, was horrified to learn that he was strictly banned from entering the Football Vs Homophobia tournament without first providing medical records and blood tests in his application.

The FA told him and other hopeful trans players that without this information, they could not partake in the £7 tournament held at Nottingham University.

Mr Hutchinson learned that the cost of providing such information would be a staggering £70 and players would also be added to the FA’s official register of trans players.

Hutchinson told Pink News: “This event is an amateur league charity event to promote inclusivity and equality within football. The University of Nottingham made the choice to run the event in partnership with the FA, so has ultimate responsibility for the rules that they enforce.

The rules, he was told by a spokesperson for the University of Nottingham, were based on reasons of “physical safety and fairness of competition.

“They don’t prevent any individual from entering the tournament, but they do restrict an individual from playing on a preferred team based on gender identity, because the tournament is an open-age event”, which Hutchinson deemed as unfair.

Uni Sports Centre

He added: “I think it’s well out of order that the University of Nottingham are trying to abdicate responsibility for the rules that they are adhering to.

“The double-standard seems to a mockery of the message of the event.”

The spokesperson added: “The event is an FA sanctioned competitive tournament. This means the University has to work in accordance with FA rules including those relating to trans players.”

The trans advocacy group, Press For Change are said to fully support and are said to have also written to the university to outline why the policy is discriminatory.

Hutchinson said: “The Univeristy should consider waiving the FA’s rules, and instead adopt a gender-centred and trans-inclusive approach.

“If a player identifies as a man then they should be allowed to play on a men’s team.

UK Trans Info were disappointed at the decision to cancel the event. A statement said: “We are disappointed that the University of Nottingham decided to cancel this event rather than finding a way to extend those values of diversity and inclusion to all trans and non-binary people.

“We are also very concerned that the negative way the University chose to respond to allegations of discrimination will discourage other genuine allegations being made in future.”

What even is this thing?

Not Luke Hutchinson, just a guy who doesn’t like football

The University of Nottingham’s LBGT network were equally upset.

A spokesperson said: “We’re deeply saddened that the Homophobia vs Football event has been cancelled, however we trust that the university will persevere with further LGBT sports events in the future. The LGBT network cannot stress enough the importance of sport inclusion for LGBT equality the development of the university community in general.”

The University has released the following as their formal statement:  “Due to the fact that we feel the recent negative publicity has done substantial damage to the tournament and the positive message it promotes, The University of Nottingham has decided to cancel this year’s tournament.”