I know this may be a silly question but I couldn't help asking out of curiosity. We know that there is a separate league for women's football in England, but say if there is a female who is really good player and can play alongside men in EPL, can she do that, or is there a rule that will prohibit her from playing?


Ah, unfortunately there IS an explicit rule against mixed gender teams so no, a promoted side couldn't sign any top female players

This absurd rule was tested in 2004 when Celaya, a Mexican Second Division team attempted to sign Maribel Dominguez a star of the Mexican Women's team. But FIFA blocked it Woman barred from men's football

In England, the FA has recently voted to extend the age at which "mixed gender football" is permitted, from 16 to 18 years FA to raise girls' football age limit

According to this Netherlands and Switzerland allow mixed gender football until 19, Germany and Italy at 17. Bear in mind this doesn't just apply to professional football, but to any organised matches at all under a league structure. So girls and guys can no doubt have a kick about in the park, but can't play together in any organised league at any level

So it seems possible that, in England at least, should a star female footballer be identified at an early enough age, she could in principle play for a professional men's team. Until she turns 18. Then no.

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    Sources, please. – gdrt Sep 13 '17 at 13:20
  • Line J3 in the FA handbook seems to be the best source I can find: thefa.com/-/media/files/thefaportal/governance-docs/… – origimbo Sep 21 '17 at 13:23
  • @origimbo, can you please tell what line J3 tells? What page is it on? Searching "J3" in the document didn't return any results. – gdrt Nov 16 '17 at 22:25
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    @gdrt the 38th page of that pdf (labelled as 132), section J, paragraph 3, "Players in a Match must be of the same gender save for matches in a playing season in the age groups Under 7 to Under 18 inclusive (as defined at Rule C)." – origimbo Nov 16 '17 at 23:05

Technically yes, a woman can be named as a player in the team line up. (The rest of the information below is completely my opinion.) However, it is likely never to take place due to the obvious physical nature of football, especially in the english premier league. Also no team wants to lose at any time in the league so they're unlikely to field a player unless the player has had a chance to regularly train with the team, which is difficult since the best women players are training with their respective teams for the women's league as you mentioned. You are more likely to see a woman feature in a friendly game I guess.

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    I am certain there will be women capable of managing the physical nature of football... I find it strange that no one has considered this idea (except for Perguia as answered by @Phab) more recently given the global campaign against sexism... – Gaurav Oct 30 '15 at 4:30
  • With my U17 team (male) I played once against the swedish U19 national team (female). It cannot be denied that there were enormous differences in strength, but not in stamina, tactical or technical skills or even speed. Of course we were no national team, just a regional selection. So yes, I think the best female palyers would be at least under the 'last' 5 or 10% of male PL players I think. – Phab Oct 30 '15 at 7:15
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    @Gaurav its not really sexism mate. Every sport has different competitions for women and men because of the differences between the two genders. There will be strong women and weak me out there. But its a scientific fact that men are generally stronger than women. Take athletics for example. Usain Bolt's world record 100m sprint was completed in 9.58 seconds. The world record for the women's 100m sprint is 10.49 seconds held by Florence Griffith-Joyner. 900 milliseconds is a world of difference in the 100m sprint. Its just how men and women are made. – ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 Oct 30 '15 at 12:26
  • This doesn't answer the question. The physical ability of a woman to play is irrelevant to the question: only the legality. – Joe Oct 30 '15 at 14:33
  • @Joe Legality has been answered by Phab and me ^^ – ʀᴇᴅ_ᴅᴇᴠɪʟ226 Oct 30 '15 at 18:38

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