OMAHA, Neb. — A family is angry over the way a soccer tournament treated their 8-year-old daughter’s team.
Mili Hernandez’s team was disqualified because organizers thought she was a boy.
However, Hernandez, who says she loves soccer, just loves her short haircut.
“When my hair starts to grow, I put it short because I always had short hair, and I didn’t like my hair long,” Hernandez said.
She plays soccer for Omaha’s Azzuri Cachorros girls’ club team. Despite being only 8, Hernandez is on the 11-year-old roster.
Last weekend, Hernandez helped lead her team to the final of the Springfield Soccer Club girls tournament.
But before taking the field on Sunday, Hernandez and her team were disqualified, as Springfield Soccer organizers believed she was a boy.
“She was in shock,” Mili’s father Gerardo Hernandez, said. “She was even crying after they told us.”
“Just because I look like a boy, doesn’t mean I am a boy, but they don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out,” Mili Hernandez said.
The Hernandez family says they showed Mili’s insurance card to tournament organizers to prove she’s a girl, but it wasn’t enough.
“They didn’t want to listen,” Cruz Hernandez said. “They said that the president had made his decision and there wasn’t any changing that.”
Hernandez said she doesn’t believe this was fair and was “not happy” with what happened to her, but she won’t let this stop her from playing.
“Just because I can’t play here, there’s other tournaments that I can play,” Hernandez said.
Springfield Soccer Club organizers declined to comment but said the Hernandez family can appeal the ruling to the Nebraska State Soccer Association.