Woman footballer joins Dutch men's team

The KNVB has given 19-year-old Elle Fokkema permission to join fourth-tier VV Foarut for the 2020-21 season.

The Dutch FA could permanently changing the regulations should the idea be successful.

The Dutch Football Association has announced a pilot scheme this week that will allow women to play competitively in a men's team in the country's ninth tier.

The KNVB has given 19-year-old Elle Fokkema permission to join fourth-tier VV Foarut for the 2020-21 season.

"The KNVB stands for diversity and equality. We believe that there should be room for everyone in every way in football," the organisation's head of development Art Langeler said in a statement.

The Dutch FA will monitor the progress and could permanently changing the regulations to allow women to play alongside men, should the idea be successful.

"Every year there is a request from an association to let a woman play football in their first men's team," Langeler added.

"In my opinion it is special that girls at all levels can play mixed football, but as soon as boys move on from under-19 to Category A of the men, they have to play football without the woman in their team.

Fokkema would have been left ineligible to play for VV Foarut's first team, which plays in the 'category A' fourth tier of Dutch football, and forced to play in a 'category B' team after reaching the age limit.

Speaking about the development, Fokkema said, "It's fantastic that I can continue to play in this team. I've been playing with these guys since I was five and I was sorry that I wouldn't be able to play with them in a team next year.

"I asked the club if something was possible and together we submitted the request to the KNVB. My teammates also reacted enthusiastically that I can stay with them."

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