FIFA won't allow woman on men's soccer team

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2004

MEXICO CITY — World soccer's governing body rejected the signing of a female player by a professional men's team in Mexico.

''There must be a clear separation between men's and women's football,'' FIFA said from its Swiss headquarters Sunday.

Maribel Dominguez signed a two-year deal Wednesday with the second-division club Celaya, which deferred to FIFA on whether a woman could play in the league. FIFA's executive committee denied the move during a weekend meeting.

''This is laid down in league football and in international matches by the existence of gender-specific competitions and the laws of the game, and FIFA's regulations do not provide for any exceptions,'' the committee said in a statement.

Dominguez scored 45 goals in 46 games for the Mexican women's national team and played one season in the Women's United Soccer Association in the United States.

The 5-foot-4 Dominguez would have been outweighed by 65 pounds by some players in the First Division-A, Mexico's second division. She said she was beginning a special training regimen to add weight before next month's season opener.

After the signing, the decision was met by approval as well as concern. Former men's national team coach Manuel Lapuente recalled what his father had told him: ''You don't touch a woman even with a rose petal. ... Imagine how I'm supposed to face a woman and have to slide into her. Well, what am I going to do?''

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