Scandal in Ireland after 30-year-old transgender man played in maiden match

A major scandal has erupted in Ireland after a transgender woman took part in a girls’ Gaelic football tournament. The rivals did not like this, and the Twitter social network massively blocked the accounts of the protesters.


Celtic football is Ireland’s national sport, played on a rugby field. The ball is moved with both hands and feet, and goals carry three points inside the goal line and one above it. The closest sport to Celtic football is Australian rules football, and the two nations regularly face each other in mixed rules matches.

Na Gael Eraha’s team won the Junior Cup, defeating Na Fianna in the final. The most interesting thing was that among the winners was 30-year-old Julia Valentino – a former man who recently changed his gender.

Questions are raised not only about the contestant’s past, but also about her age. A 30-year-old man competes in a Junior tournament…

The coach of the losing team brought the situation to the referee’s attention, but the match ended up being played.

The Celtic FA is conducting its own investigation and will make a decision in the coming days.

The club that engaged Valentino responded that they supported an open LGBT+ policy, and Valentino herself explained that she wanted to play “for the sake of sisterhood, recognition and political glory”.

Valentino is from Italy. She tried to enter rugby, but the international federation of this sport showed firmness and categorically banned ex-men from playing among cisgender women.

The final was even interrupted by the referee after Na Fianna pointed out repeatedly that a man was playing against them.

However, Na Gel captain Eraha said Valentino was transgender and the referee continued the match, saying the final result could be appealed. Julia was replaced at halftime due to injury, but spent a lot of time on the field and influenced the outcome of the match. After the meeting, he said that he was changing in a separate locker room from his teammates.

The scandal spread beyond the Celtic football community, with Twitter taking action by blocking and terminating accounts for “hateful behaviour”.

Users who only noted that Valentino was male and had a physical advantage were also penalized.

Facebook was also blocking, though not as actively.

Some of the affected “transphobic” remarks were supported by the writer J. K. Rowling, but Valentino herself did not join the skirmishes on social networks.

Now the ball is in the federation’s court and the decision is awaited whether the result will count.


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