A TEENEAGE girl who is the top scorer in her football team has been banned from a national competition because of her sex.
Alyshia Walker, 13, has been left
“devastated’ by the news that she cannot play in the Tesco Cup with her team the Fauldhouse Foxes.
The Bathgate Academy pupil is the captain of the team and was named player of the match when they won the final of the youth Scottish Cup to qualify for the national competition.
But because the tournament takes place in England, it is governed by the English Football Association rules, which prevent girls being part of a boys’ team if they are over 11.
The decision has been branded
“discrimination’ and Fauldhouse Foxes’ management has been working with the Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) to try to get the decision overturned.
“I’m pretty gutted that I don’t get to play, especially because I’m the captain.
“It would be one of the biggest games of my career so I’m really disappointed, but hopefully something can be done before the final. “
Her mother, Christine Walker, 44, from Blackburn, West Lothian, said:
“I’m angry because she has played with this team for a long time.
“She was crying when they won the Scottish Cup because she was so happy and she thought she would be going for the British Cup. “
Management are also trying to persuade the organiser, Tesco, to step in.
Fauldhouse Foxes coach James McAllister said:
“Tesco are going with the English FA’s rules saying that she can’t play, but Tesco has the right to overturn the rule.
“It’s discrimination. She is the first girl to win the Scottish Cup with a boys’ team. It’s a joke. “
David Little, national secretary of the SYFA, added:
“The English FA are putting a rule change up to their annual general meeting but if the change does not go through for next season’s competition, we will either not participate or we would ask that the tournament is held in Scotland with the more enlightened rules. “
The English FA is understood to be looking into the request to allow Alyshia to play.
A Tesco spokesman said:
“Whilst we would be very happy for Alyshia to play, this needs to be a decision for the English FA. “