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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 10:58 GMT
Woman signs for Mexico men's team
Maribel Dominguez
Dominguez has played for a professional women's side in the US
A woman footballer is joining a national men's league side in Mexico - a move which would be a first in the sport in North and Central America.

Striker Maribel Dominguez - who has scored 42 goals in 43 games for the national women's team - has signed for Celaya, a club official confirmed.

The team, in Mexico's second highest league, has asked soccer's ruling body Fifa for permission for her to play.

Dominguez, 26, said: "This is a dream I have had, and now it is not far away."

The hard thing is going to be equalling the physical force of the men
Maribel Dominguez

Celaya's vice president Mauricio Ruiz said Dominguez had signed a contract with the First Division-A club but did not specify for how long or how much money was involved.

He said: "We don't want any controversies or scandals, we just want to give a space to women."

The striker, who is nicknamed "Marigoal", told reporters in Mexico City she would begin a special training regime to get match fit by mid-January.

Publicity stunt

"The hard thing is going to be equalling the physical force of the men, but the technique, the desire, the willpower, those are things I already have," she said.

Dominguez, who was Mexico's top scorer at the Olympic Games, was ranked in Fifa's top 25 women players in the world for 2004.

Fifa told the Associated Press news agency it was down to the Mexican Soccer Federation to decide whether women were allowed to play in the men's game.

Last year Italian team Perugia announced it had made an offer to German World Cup winner Birgit Prinz which would have made her the first female player in Serie A.

However she did not end up with the club, which had also pursued Sweden's Hannah Ljungberg, prompting suggestions it had been a publicity stunt.

Perugia pursue female star
10 Dec 03 |  Europe


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