The Irish Football Association (IFA) is planning to introduce legislation that would give players a new gender identity category to be eligible for international recognition, the Irish Independent has learned.
A draft of the legislation was released last month, which would allow a player to choose between two genders on their player cards.
It would also give players the right to have their gender on their passport amended, in the event of injury, illness or a change in citizenship.
The legislation was introduced at the IFA’s annual general meeting in October.
The draft bill would allow players to identify themselves as female in their national identity card.
The change would also allow players the option of wearing a woman’s jumper under their jersey in future competitions, such as the World Cup and Champions League.
The move is expected to be approved by the General Assembly, which meets on December 9.
It follows a backlash from women’s groups in the UK, where a similar proposal was shelved.
It comes amid concerns in Ireland that the gender gap in professional sports has not improved since the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act in 2011.
In 2013, the number of female footballers in Ireland stood at just four.
The number of male players stood at more than 100.