Soccer association investigating tournament

An Omaha family says they were told their 8-year old girl was disqualified from playing in a girls' soccer club tournament this weekend because she "looks like 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.

Her family provided documents to prove she's a girl, but Springfield tournament organizers refused to reconsider the disqualification. "Even though we had an insurance card and documentation that showed she is a female". She's so good that she plays on the 11-year-old roster even though she's 8.

Former U.S. soccer stars Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm offered support to Mili on social media.

Mili's father, Gerardo Hernandez, told WOWT 6 News that his daughter "was in shock".

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

"Just because I look like a boy doesn't mean I am a boy", she explained.

Mili Hernandez won't let others' poor judgement keep her off the soccer field.

Mili got an apology Tuesday from the Nebraska State Soccer Association, the governing body over the Springfield tournament. "So I don't like my hair long", the young soccer player tells Fox 8. "They don't have a reason to kick the whole club out".

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". They made it to the finals on Sunday before the club disqualified them.

"Nebraska State Soccer does not run the tournament, nor is it involved in any of the decisions the tournament makes with regards to rules, players, or teams ..." its statement reads. Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann suggests Hernandez and her family can exact further justice.

She added, "A lot of professional athletes have short hair..."

Mili is biologically a female and identifies as a female.

He said Mili, who is from Omaha and will be in third grade in the fall, has played soccer for three years.

She says she believes her team was disqualified because of her short hair.

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