8-Year-Old Girl Disqualified From Soccer Tournament For ‘Looking Like A Boy’

U.S. soccer legends Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach have come to her defense

When Mili Hernandez, a budding soccer star in Omaha, plays, she likes to keep her hair short so it doesn’t distract her on the field. But the 8-year-old’s haircut is at the center of a controversy, as her club team, Azzuri Cachorros, was thrown out of tournament by organizers because they believed she was a boy.

The team had advanced through the first two days of the Springfield Soccer Invitational, only to find out the morning of the tournament’​s final day that they had been disqualified for letting a boy play on a girls team. The team went to the media, and now the tournament is on the defensive.

The organizers of the tournament are blaming the disqualification—not on Hernandez’​s haircut—but on a typo the registrar made. However, even when the team’​s coach offered an insurance card that showed she was a girl, the president of the tournament upheld the disqualification and booted the whole team from the tournament.

“There’​s no point in all of us getting kicked off, they could have let some us stay and play,”​ Hernandez said, disappointed her team wasn't’ allowed to keep competing in the tournament.

In response to the story, some of U.S. soccer’​s biggest legends, Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach, have taken to social media to show support for Hernandez and encourage her not to let this incident discourage her.