SPRINGFIELD, Nebr. (WOWT) Mili Hernandez is 8 years-old. She loves soccer – and her short haircut.
Mili told WOWT 6 News: “When my hair starts to grow I put it short because I’ve always had short hair. I didn’t like my hair long.”
Mili plays soccer for Omaha’s Azzuri Cachorros girls club team. She’s so good that she plays on the 11 year-old roster even though she’s 8. Her father, Gerardo Hernandez, couldn’t be more proud. He told WOWT 6 News: “It’s what she likes. It’s what she always wants to do – play soccer.”
This weekend Mili helped lead her team to the finals of the Springfield Soccer Club girls tournament. However, before taking the field on Sunday, Mili and her team were suddenly disqualified. Springfield soccer organizers insisted Mili was a boy.
Gerardo Hernandez told WOWT 6 News that his daughter “was in shock.” He continued: “She was crying after they told us… They made her cry.”
Mili added: “Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy. They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out.”
Mili’s family claims they showed her insurance card to tournament organizers in an effort to prove she’s a girl. It wasn’t enough.
Mili’s brother, Cruz Hernandez, told WOWT 6 News: “They didn’t want to listen. They said the president made his decision and there wasn’t any changing that.”
Mili told WOWT 6 News she thinks the situation isn’t fair. However, she won’t let it stop her from playing. She said: “There’s other tournaments that I can play.”
Springfield Soccer Club organizers declined WOWT 6 News’s request for an interview, directing us to contact their attorney on Monday, instead.
Organizers also said if Mili’s family wants to challenge the disqualification they can appeal it with the Nebraska State Soccer Association.