A short-haired girl was disqualified from a Nebraska soccer tournament because organizers thought she looked like a boy.
Mili Hernandez is just 8 years old but plays well enough to compete with 11-year-olds for Omaha’s Azzuri Cachorros girls club team, reported WOWT-TV.
She helped her team reach the finals over the weekend at the Springfield Soccer Club girls tournament, but Mili and her teammates were abruptly disqualified Sunday before taking the field.
Tournament organizers insisted Mili, who prefers to keep her hair short, was a boy — and they could not be persuaded otherwise.
“Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy,” Mili said. “They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out.”
Her family said they showed Mili’s insurance card to tournament organizers to prove she’s a girl, but they refused to overturn the decision.
“They didn’t want to listen,” said her brother, Cruz Hernandez. “They said the president made his decision and there wasn’t any changing that.”
Organizers refused to comment on the decision and referred WOWT reporters to their attorney.
They said Mili’s family could challenge he decision by filing an appeal with the Nebraska State Soccer Association, although the tournament has already concluded.
Mili said the situation was unfair, but she wouldn’t let it dampen her enthusiasm.
“There’s other tournaments that I can play,” she said.