A 14-year-old girl has been banned from playing for a football team in Yorkshire, and it has to be one of the more ridiculous situations in grass-roots sport.
Jobsworth officials often spoil everyone's fun when it comes to participation in activities that should be free for everyone, but this really does take that to a new level.
Carmen Olmos has been told that she strictly cannot take to the field at all for her community club, Wortley FC, for one reason.
That is? She is Spanish.
As absurd as it is, the Football Association have ruled that the teen is ineligible to represent her local team because she cannot be granted 'international clearance'.
Dave Needham, head of sport at Fulneck School in Pudsey, Leeds, has revealed the poor girl's frustration and disillusionment at the decision, saying she is "desperate" just to play.
"She is a fantastic footballer," he said. "She attended a number of trials with Wortley Girls FC and enjoyed them so much that she asked to join.
"The club wrote to the FA to check, because Carmen had not previously registered for either a Spanish or English club.
"Sadly, the reply was that she could only play for the school," he added.
"Carmen is unhappy, her family are unhappy, we are unhappy and Wortley FC are livid."
Carmen herself said she was "gutted" she could not play.
"I really enjoyed the training, and the girls at the club were really helpful," she said.
Robert Greaves, secretary of the club’s women’s teams, said he thought it was a ridiculous situation for the young girl.
"It seems to be a rule designed for professional clubs and it’s the same rule for everyone – which is not appropriate," he said.
"This is a 14-year-old girl who is at a school in Leeds and wants to play football."
FIFA, who the FA are effectively blaming for the situation, have international regulations in place that are preventing Carmen from playing the sport she loves.
"The same rules apply to the registration of foreign minor players who have never been previously registered," a FIFA spokesman explained.
So, for fans of absurd rules being upheld, this is positive news. But for those who would love to see the likes of Carmen allowed to play with her friends and be included in community sport, it's a desperately depressing situation.
Grass-roots sport, eh? Things are never quite as one would hope.
- Sports & Recreation