Female MP barred from 'kickabout'
Published 31/05/2011 | 13:18
A female Conservative MP has called for "more common sense" over rules that ban women from playing football for the parliamentary team.
Tracey Crouch is barred from the 11-a-side team under Football Association restrictions that only allow girls aged 13 or under to play in mixed teams.
The Chatham and Aylesford MP, a right winger or centre forward, said she approved of the rules in general but did not believe they should be applied to what was "essentially a kickabout".
She insisted she could hold her own against her male colleagues, who include shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy, shadow education secretary Andy Burnham and former minister Jim Fitzpatrick.
Ms Crouch said: "No woman should be invited onto a football team just because she is a woman. She has to have the confidence, she has to be able to play.
"All of the male MPs I've spoken to think it's ridiculous. I've played five-a-side with many of them so they know what I can do and what I can't do.
"I just think that there has to be some common sense when it comes to what is essentially a kickabout. It's not the Champions League final.
"Yes, it's often competitive but that's not to say that I couldn't hold my own."
The MP, who was elected last year, is a qualified football coach who manages Meridian Girls under-13s in Kent.