September 26, 2023

Nilla Fischer: “Forced to show genitals at the 2011 World Cup”


In fact, before Germany 2011 there was a complaint from the former defender of the Scandinavian national team: “We were told not to shave. I had to lower my shorts and underwear in front of the doctor.”

On her Instagram profile she defines herself: “A feminist”. But Nilla Fischer was a difficult central defender to deal with on the pitch. Imposingly built, 176 cm tall, he wore the jerseys of Malmö, Linköping and Wolfsburg, with which he won two Swedish championships, two German championships and a women’s champions league. And collected appearances for his Swedes around 1994 and won an Olympic silver medal in Rio 2016. In short, Fischer was a valued and successful footballer until December 2022 (when she retired). His numbers prove it. And for this reason too, the statements in his book “I didn’t even say half of it” are controversial. Very.

World Cup 2001

It was 2011. And the women’s soccer world championship was taking place in Germany. A controversial issue. Days earlier, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana had complained to FIFA about the presence of men in the Equatorial Guinea team. And then here’s Nilla’s shocking revelation: “We had to show the doctor our genitals,” the former champion wrote in her book, “we were told we didn’t have to shave to show our gender.” Fisher then described the process, which a physical therapist performed on the doctor’s behalf, as humiliating.

the history

“None of us understand hair removal,” Fischer continues, “but we do what we’re told and think, ‘How did this happen? Why do we have to do it now?’. There must be other ways.” Do it. Should we refuse? At the same time, nobody wants to jeopardize the chance of participating in a World Cup. So no matter how bad it feels.” In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Fischer elaborated. And here’s his story: “I understand what I need to do and at the same time I quickly take off my sweatpants and underwear.” The physical therapist nods and says “Yes,” then looks at the doctor, who has my back to the door He takes notice and she walks down the corridor to knock on the next door. When all the players on the team were ‘checked over’, the doctor was able to sign the document certifying that the Sweden women’s national football team is made up of women only.”

the norms

Two weeks before the start of the 2011 World Cup, FIFA issued its current gender recognition guidelines, which require teams to sign a declaration guaranteeing that players selected for the World Cup are “gender fair”. These rules state: “It is the responsibility of each association to ensure the correct gender of all players by actively investigating any perceived discrepancies in secondary sex characteristics.” It is now unclear why Swedish players did not have a cheek swab test performed in 2011 – one inexpensive and non-invasive way to collect DNA from cells in the cheek and determine a person’s sex. Mats Börjesson, doctor for the Sweden national team in 2011, said the tests were carried out after FIFA called for immediate checks following rumors about the Equatorial Guinea team. FIFA has taken note of Nilla Fischer’s statements for the time being. Without going into the merits of the story.

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