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U.S. soccer greats cheer Nebraska girl barred after mistaken as boy

07 June 2017

A Nebraska 11-year-old girl's soccer team was disqualified from an area tournament because their 8-year-old star allegedly looked too much like a boy.

The team had advanced through the first two days of the Springfield Soccer Invitational, only to find out the morning of the tournament's final day that they had been disqualified for letting a boy play on a girls team.

The organizers of the tournament are blaming the disqualification-not on Hernandez's haircut-but on a typo the registrar made.

Mili's father, Gerardo Hernandez, told WOWT 6 News that his daughter "was in shock".

While the Springfield Soccer Club organizers have already offered the prospect of the Cachorros appealing the ruling that barred Hernandez, some of the most famous names in women's soccer have stepped forward to support the young Omaha starlet. Her family says that led organizers to insist she was a boy.

Mili Hernandez won't let others' poor judgement keep her off the soccer field.

Though the Sarpy Activities Program doesn't really think Mili is a boy, Bianco said listing a male player on a girls team roster is a violation of tournament rules. The association said its "core values were simply not present" at the tournament.

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Bianco said the team Mili plays for also violated tournament rules by having the same players on multiple teams.

Bianco said soccer clubs provide player names and genders for the rosters and are responsible for noticing any mistakes and fixing them.

"We had a doctor's physical form and it gave a description and it said her age and female, so we showed them that but they wouldn't look at it", Cruz Hernandez, Mili's brother, told WOWT.

The state soccer association says it did not oversee the Springfield tournament but will work directly with clubs and tournament officials to ensure nothing like this happens again.

According to WOWT, the Hernandez family were told that they can file an appeal to the Nebraska State Soccer association to challenge the disqualification. The girl wears her hair cut short.

She explained to WOWT that the ruling won't stop her from playing or discourage her in the future.

Wambach says on social media that she's "won championships" with her own short haircut and wants to meet the girl.