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Mara Gomez Becomes First Transgender Woman To Play Professional Football

Mara Gomez Becomes First Transgender Woman To Play Professional Football

The Argentinian player said it's a 'huge achievement' and 'new roads' have been opened for players.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Mara Gomez has become the first transgender woman to play professional football in Argentina after making her Villa San Carlos debut.

The AFA confirmed last month that Gomez had been registered to play in a Women's first division game against Lanus.

TNT Sports LA have uploaded highlights and after being handed the number seven shirt this week, Gomez started up front.

It wasn't a dream debut as her team, Villa San Carlos, lost the game 7-1, however Gomez was emotional in post-match interviews and said 'new roads' had been opened for players.

The 23-year-old told ESPN: "When I started out, football was a therapy for me and I couldn't think it was possible to dream or consider playing in the top division.

"A few years back this was unthinkable to talk about or debate but now we are opening new roads. This is a huge achievement. I'm totally grateful to my club, to my teammates and coaching staff for opening the doors for me and for showing me respect from the beginning.

"I'm proud to represent a community but also a part of society and to know that I have become a reference for a lot of people."

Opponents Lanus presented her with a special jersey post-match and commented: "We celebrate and accompany this enormous step on the road to expanding rights. Congratulations Mara Gomez."

It had been a long wait for Gomez, who signed her professional contract prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

PA

She made a further statement on Instagram, saying: "It wasn't magic, it wasn't a gift, it wasn't easy. There was a life of fighting, suffering and sadness.

"There was a life on the edge of death and a broken heart. Many obstacles had to be overcome to revert the past....This has only just begun. Today I breathe, today my soul returns to my body."

She added that football managed to 'save her' when her mental health took a toll, due to 'discrimination and exclusion'.

"Football came to my life at a time when I needed it. It came at a time when I was struggling psychologically because of discrimination, exclusion, and I saw it as a therapy. I realised that football could be a style of life for me."

Gomez had been playing in the Platense Football League for Las Malvinas, before the AFA were satisfied she had acceptable testosterone levels in her blood.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News