Nebraska soccer association apologizes to girl

Hazel Gray
June 7, 2017

An 8-year-old Nebraska girl got an apology, and shout-outs from a few soccer superstars, after she was kicked out of a soccer tournament because officials thought she was a boy.

Mili Hernandez, who plays on the 11-year-old team because of her enhanced skills, wears her hair short and always has.

Her family provided documents to prove she's a girl, but Springfield tournament organizers refused to reconsider the disqualification.

Gerardo even showed them Mili's insurance card, which lists her sex.

Mili's story has since gone viral, even grabbing the attention of American soccer legend Mia Hamm.

"Nebraska State Soccer would never disqualify a player from participating on a girl's teams based on appearance", Mann stated.

But when a pair of defeated teams complained that there "was a boy" on the other side of the field, organizers went through the paper work and found her incorrectly checked off as male on one of the forms.

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US soccer legend Hamm and Olympic soccer gold medalist Abby Wambach launched a Twitter defense of Mili Hernandez, the Omaha, Nebraska girl whose team, Assurri Cachorros Chicos, was disqualified from a Springfield Soccer Club tournament over the weekend.

Bianco said soccer clubs provide player names and genders for the rosters and are responsible for noticing any mistakes and fixing them. They made it to the finals on Sunday before the club disqualified them. The association said its "core values were simply not present" at the tournament. "However, it is important to note that the roster submitted to the state by the club identified this player as male, and the competition rules for U.S. Youth Soccer do not allow boys to play on a girls' team".

According to WOWT, the Hernandez family were told that they can file an appeal to the Nebraska State Soccer association to challenge the disqualification.

Olympic gold medalist and Women's World Cup champion Abby Wambach - who also happens to have short hair - posted a video to Mili, saying, "You're inspiring, you're a natural-born leader, Honey, and I'm so proud of you". "I didn't like my hair long".

In a separate statement by the Nebraska State Soccer Association - which oversees the soccer league - they claimed the organization was not involved in the tournament organizers' decision. It added, "We apologize to this young girl, her family, and her soccer club for this unfortunate misunderstanding".

She explained to WOWT that the ruling won't stop her from playing or discourage her in the future.

Other reports by VgToday

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