Nebraska soccer association apologizes to girl

Abby Wambach speaks up for 8-year-old girl banned from tournament for looking'like a boy

Abby Wambach speaks up for 8-year-old girl banned from tournament for looking'like a boy

A Nebraska soccer organization disqualified an Omaha-area girls' team from a weekend tournament because it thought an 8-year-old girl on the squad was a boy.

"When my hair starts to grow, I put it short because I always had short hair".

Mili says she won't let this keep her down for long.

The team won two of their three games Saturday, which guaranteed them a spot in the last day of the Springfield Soccer Club girls tournament on Sunday.

Mili Hernandez thinks it's because of her short haircut. He said they told him Mili and the entire team were disqualified. Mili's family claims they went so far as to show her insurance card to tournament organizers - proving Mili is indeed a girl.

"We showed them all different types of IDs", her sister Alina Hernandez said. They note that though "Nebraska State Soccer does not run the tournament" and "those decisions are made by the tournament director and tournament committee for each event". "There's no way to justify the mistake they made against her", said the coach, Mario Torres.

Mili's father said the experience was upsetting for his daughter and that she had cried after finding out she and her team couldn't play.

According to The Springfield Soccer Association, Mili's appearance wasn't an issue but in the roster, she was listed as a boy and that is what caused confusion.

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.

And Hernandez and her family are planning to do just that.

However, the young girl isn't going to stop playing soccer because of this.

She added, "A lot of professional athletes have short hair..."

The Nebraska State Soccer Association said in a statement late Monday that the Springfield soccer club's decision to disqualify Mili's team does not represent the association's core values of teamwork and inclusion. USA soccer star Abby Wambach came to her defense on Twitter.

Two-time gold medallist and World Cup victor Hamm made an offer to Mili to play at the Team First Soccer Academy camp, which she hosts.

"Just because I can't play here, there's other tournaments that I can play", Mili said. And since Hernandez was born a girl and identifies as a girl, she should be good to go, right?

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