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Australian soccer club with several transgender players dominates women's tournament, sparking outrage

An Australian soccer club with apparently five transgender players won a women's preseason tournament, sparking outrage in the country and online.

An Australian soccer team caused controversy on social media earlier week as its club with five transgender soccer players dominated a women’s preseason tournament.

Flying Bats FC won the Beryl Ackroyd Cup final over the Macquarie Dragons 4-0 and were given a $1,000 prize, according to The club went undefeated over the course of the four-week tournament and had a 10-0 victory in one match.

The club proudly supports the LGBTQIA+ community as seen in its social media bio.


"Sydney's premier LGBTQIA+ football (soccer) club for women & non-binary people. Est 1985. Fun, friendly, inclusive," its X profile reads.

But not everyone was celebrating the victory, with some speaking out to Australia’s The Daily Telegraph.

"Our girls are here to play for fun and expect to play in the female competition. They did not sign up for a mixed competition," one senior club official told The Daily Telegraph. "Some of the parents were so concerned they would not let their daughters play.

"It was so disheartening for them to see the huge difference in ability – they’re killing it."

Binary Australia spokesperson Kirralie Smith said the North West Sydney League was putting players at risk. Binary Australia is an advocacy group that maintains the "biological fact that sex is binary" and there are only two genders – male and female.

The outrage continued online.

"Are you getting angry yet?" Sky Australia contributor Katherine Deves Morgan wrote on X. "Five blokes on the winning women’s soccer team. Girls were threatened with fines if they forfeited. What a joke."

"Been angry for years now – the unfairness is off the charts. I will say it again – keep women’s sports female. It is not the place for any (failed) male athletes," tennis legend Martina Navratilova added.


Flying Bats FC president Jen Peden pushed back on criticism.

"Trans women belong in the women’s competition because that is the gender with which they identify," Peden said, via

"As a club, the Flying Bats FC stand strongly for inclusion, and pride ourselves on safe, respectful and fair play, the promotion of a supportive community for LGBTQIA+ players, officials and supporters, and the significant physical, social and mental health benefits that participation in sport brings, especially to marginalized members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

"We are a club that values our cisgender and transgender players equally. We strongly support the Australian Human Rights Commission’s guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport.

"Trans women have played with the club for at least 20 years, at levels ranging from beginner to skilled, just like our cis women players. Our players are graded on ability, and placed in the team that is most appropriate for their skill and experience level, and we look forward to a respectful, competitive season across our eight teams in 2024."

A Football NSW spokesperson maintained it was operating within the boundaries of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s "Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport," which states, "community players are permitted to participate in Football on the basis of the gender with which they identify."

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