8-Year-Old Girl Banned from Playing Futsal Tournament in Espírito Santo

Laurinha's mother mobilizes petition asking for mixed teams in the state

São Paulo

How do you explain to a child that she cannot participate in a championship because she is a girl?

This was the motivation that led Laís Matias, 31, to create a petition in an attempt to change the regulation of the state under-9 futsal championship in Espírito Santo, played by boys.

Laís is the mother of Laurinha, 8, who has played futsal at Cruzeiro da Ilha de Santa Maria, in Vitória, since she was 4.

Brasil-ES, Vitoria, 26.01.2022, Laurinha - Foto: Gabriel Lordello / Folhapress

Currently, there are only men's teams in the competition. And even though the girl trains and competes in city championships alongside the boys, she was barred at the state level.

"Girls are interested in playing indoor or outdoor soccer, but there is a lack of encouragement. All should have a choice," says Laís.

She says that after the petition was created, she began to receive messages of support from family members of girls.

The goal is to reach 7,500 supporters by January 31 and present the document to entities linked to the sport.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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