Here’s something that doesn’t happen every day: the coaches of five of South Korea’s seven women soccer league teams have threatened to boycott the national competition if Seoul City Amazons striker Park Eun-Seon does not have a gender test. The 26-year-old was named best forward this season, with 19 goals in 22 matches.
At 1.80 meters tall and weighing 74 kilograms, park Eun-Seon really does have a physique worthy of her team’s name, and could probably even secure a place in a men’s soccer team, which is exactly why several coaches of rival squads are threatening to boycott South-Korea’s women’s soccer league if she isn’t required to take a gender test. But according to Seoul City Amazons officials, Park’s manly physique isn’t reason enough to humiliate the player by forcing her to pass yet another gender test. They claim the whole thing is part of a “conspiracy” because she has shown such remarkable form this last season, after a long career slump. Seoul Sports Council general secretary Kim Joon-Soo seems to agree. ”We have no intention of accepting the gender verification test just to stop the boycott,” he said. ”This is a serious violation of human rights that she’s suffering for a second time. The question regarding Park’s gender identity shall never be raised again. The city of Seoul will take all necessary measures to protect our player’s human rights.”
The Korea Football Association said Park has already passed a gender test when she was 15, and the player herself wrote on Facebook that she has had to pass the test several times, including in a World Cup and in an Olympics, and there were never any problems. ”I know these people are trying to destroy me … In the past, I would have thrown my hands up and left, but I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, and I will not give up so easily.” It’s true that in the past, she preferred to back away when her gender was questioned, the last time being in 2010, during a South Asia tournament. China raised questions about Park Eun-Seon sex, and she preferred to back out from the competition. This time, it appears she is taken a different approach.
Originally, the coaches of six rival teams asked for yet another gender test, but on Thursday, one of them expressed regret and announced his resignation, adding that their motives had been misunderstood and that they had been joking. Yeah, very funny!