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Last Updated: Thursday May 26 2011 11:05 GMT

Girls footballer's mixed-team campaign approved by FA

Emily' and Shannon's teams in London

Two girls must feel like they've scored hat-tricks after winning a battle to get the age limit raised for mixed teams.

Emily and Shannon, both 10, from Devon, had been told they had to leave their teams when they became 11.

The teams gave the Football Association a petition signed by thousands of people backing a change to 13.

The FA said the age limit for mixed teams would be raised from 11 to 13 in England from the start of next season.

The decision will mean thousands of girls can continue playing football in mixed teams if they want to until they're 13.

Emily in action
Emily plays in defence

Emily, from Newton Abbot, said: "I'm so happy I can continue playing."

Emily plays as a defender and said: "I've been playing football for five years and all the boys treat me the same.

"Sometimes the teams we play think 'Oh, she's a girl, she'll be easy to beat' but then they soon learn."

The limit for teams with girl and boy players is 15 in Scotland, 12 in Wales and there is no limit in Northern Ireland. In other countries girls often play in mixed teams until the age of 18.


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