Transgender footballer Mara Gomez finally makes her debut after 11 month battle with Argentine FA
Transgender woman Mara Gomez made her long-awaited debut for Argentine football club Villa San Carlos on Monday after an 11-month battle with the country’s football association.
The 23 year-old signed for the Primera Division side in January but was prevented from playing while she was made to prove she did not have an advantage over other female players.
But after providing blood samples to show her testosterone levels were within guidelines drawn up by the International Olympic Committee, Gomez was finally granted permission to play nearly a year on from putting pen to paper.
And while Villa San Carlos were beaten 7-1 by Lanus, the opposition provided Gomez with a shirt before the game to mark the occasion, which local media have reported as the first time a trans woman has played in an official Argentine tournament.
Prior to the match earlier this week, Gomez said: "The road was long, there were many obstacles, many fears and sorrows.
"That which one day made me think that I would not be anyone, that I would never have the opportunity to be happy in my life today is reversed.
"I will be fulfilling one of the greatest goals of my life, that I thought indispensable, which was never going to happen.
"Thanks to all the people who from the first moment accompanied and supported me, and believed in me.
"Total thanks to Juan Cruz Vitale (DT) and Villa San Carlos for giving me the opportunity.
"Thanks to my representative Lorena Berdula who dedicated so much her time to accompany me in the process and for teaching me a lot. And thanks to my family who always hugged me and gave me strength."