Malawi Scorchers captain and Wuhan FC forward Tabitha Chawinga has revealed that she was once forced to strip naked by an opposing team in order to prove that she was indeed a woman.
According to an article by the Weekend Nation on Saturday, Chawinga experienced the ordeal when she started playing women’s football in Rumphi in 2009.
Chawinga said the match was stopped as her opponents could not believe she was a girl.
“They took me to a room where they stripped me to check if I was indeed a girl,” said Chawinga.
The embarrassment forced the Wuhan superstar to quit the game for ten months and when she resumed, she opted for boys’ teams as she was accepted and she wasn’t victimised.
The paper further said the discrimination on the 25-year old continued as she was accused of having loose morals for playing with boys instead of fellow women athletes.
And in 2012, Chawinga was spotted by Lilongwe-based women’s football but her ordeal continued as she was stripped naked during a presidential women’s cup match at Civo Stadium.
“This time, I was stripped right on the pitch as the other team protested saying I was not a girl,” she said.
The Scorchers Captain told the publication that she was let down by Women’s football officials who did nothing to rescue her from the embarrassment.
“I don’t want to mention their names. But they were there and they know themselves. Some still hold positions in women’s football. I just don’t want any other player to experience what I went through. Even if it means taking people who do this to court. People must accept how God created each one of us,” she was quoted.
And commenting on the development, DD Sunshine coach Andrew Chikhosi concurred with Chawinga, saying he lodged a complaint to the Central Region Women’s Football Committee (CRWFC) but no action was taken.