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Unbeatable Record: The Only Player That Played Professional Football For Both Male and Female Team

The Only Player That Played Professional Football For Both Male and Female Team

Born intersex, Iyabo Abade scored a record 38 goals in the 1996 Nigerian female football season. After a series of incidents on and off the pitch,Abade decided to transition, and became James Johnson.

Iyabo Abade was raised as a girl in a village in the then Bendel state, in southeast Nigeria.

From age 11, she became the top scorer for the Super Falcons womens’ football team, the Nigerian national team, netting over 30 goals a season.

However suspicions about her gender led to a confrontation with team-mates and a ‘tearful’ admission that she has an adam’s apple and small male genitals. A sex-test then determined that she was more male than female.

However, it was when he was at the point of making his debut at the 1998 African Women’s Championship, he was stripped by a female opponent and it was discovered that he had both male and female sexual characteristics.

The footballer was cut off completely from the team. Fortunately, it was the then minister in the Nigerian government, Muhammed Abba Gana, who approved funding for the transition operation to show appreciation for Johnson’s work with the team.

She was barred from football in 1998, but continued as a coach for a female team.

As James Johnson, he became male in 2004 with an operation at Midway Hospital(now the Olympia Medical Center), Los Angeles by a team led by Dr Gary Alter. The operation cost 5.9 millions nairas ($29,000) and was funded by the Municipal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory.

Aftewards James tried out for different football clubs, usually in competition against other men and often won a place, but after they find out who he is, they wonder: "Can she cope in the midst of guys?” despite having picked him for doing just that. And they don't let him play anymore.

In 2012 he did a US tour as coach of the female Marasata Soccer Academy.

In 2013 he mentored two sisters with a similar intersex condition, who are also football players. 

Content created and supplied by: Tezerdyo (via Opera News )

African Women s Championship Bendel Iyabo Abade James Johnson Super Falcons


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