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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 15:20 GMT
Girl tackles FA over age ruling
MP Tessa Jowell, Minnie Cruttwell and the FA's Brian Barwick
Minnie Cruttwell wants to play football with the boys
A 10-year-old girl, determined to continue playing football alongside boys, has met Football Association (FA) officials and MP Tessa Jowell.

Angry at the prospect of leaving behind team mates at her two south London clubs, Minnie Cruttwell wrote to the sports minister who set up the meeting.

Current FA rules mean teams are split into separate sexes once players are over the age of 11.

An FA spokeswoman said they hoped to offer Minnie a long-term solution.

"We are delighted to meet with the minister and Minnie and her father to talk about this issue," the spokeswoman said.

This seems to me to be sexist
Minnie Cruttwell

Minnie, who plays for Battersea Youth Centre and the Balham Blazers, wrote to Ms Jowell last year to complain about the rules.

She said: "I think this rule should be changed because I don't think it's fair that girls should be expected to leave behind their friends and teams just because they are girls.

"This seems to me to be sexist," she said.

Ms Jowell, who watched the Balham Blazers play earlier this year, said she was "bowled over" by her passion for the game.

I think it's really important they (FA) don't make these decisions without talking to the young people who play the game week in, week out
Tessa Jowell MP

"Minnie Cruttwell embodies that passion and I know that she is disappointed that she won't be able to play in the same team any more," she said.

"I think it's really important they (FA) don't make these decisions without talking to the young people who play the game week in, week out."

Minnie's father will accompany her to the meeting on Monday.

He said: "We really hope to get this ruling changed. We have had so much support from other clubs around the country."


SEE ALSO:
Boy's football hope is 'offside'
08 Feb 05 |  South East Wales
Football club signs 11-year-old
29 Jul 03 |  Humber


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