The star of the Amazones is forward Park Eun-seun. Park is so dominating, that other teams are wondering if there might be more to the striker’s muscular physique than just hard work in the weight room, and have officially voiced their suspicions that Park may be, in fact, a man.
Park was the league’s top scorer during the 2013 season, finding the net in almost all 20 regular season games on her way to a total of 19 goals for the year. There’s no questioning Park’s skills, nor the forward’s impressively athletic 180-centimeter (5-foot, 10-inch) 74-kilogram (162-pound) frame.
What the six other teams in the league are questioning, however, is Park’s gender.
On November 1, the clubs’ managers issued a joint statement by fax to WK-League officials. If Park is allowed to continue playing without undergoing a gender examination, the managers say they are prepared to boycott the upcoming season.
This is far from the first time there have been whispers about Park’s true sex. Leading up to the 2010 Women’s Asia Cup, the manager of the Chinese national team stated his
Park, understandably exasperated by the ongoing accusations, responded via Facebook post. “It’s not like I’ve only gone through this once or twice before.
Before both the World Cup and the Olympics, I underwent a gender examination, and both times was cleared to play,” the 27-year-old posted. “I am always forced into the situation of having to defend myself, and it is embarrassing and painful,” she continued.
The Amazones manager, Seo Jung-ho, quickly came to his star’s defense. “This is all a conspiracy cooked up by the managers of the other teams in the league,” he asserted.
Despite the controversy, Seo claims that Park is committed to focusing on her on-field performance and helping the team improve, which was corroborated by statements made by Park herself. “I ask for my fans to keep supporting me. I will not let these accusations distract me, even if that is the foolish intent of those making them.”
The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon (no relation to the soccer player with whom he shares a surname), has also offered his encouragement for the striker. “Even more so than as mayor, as a father with a daughter of my own, I want to do whatever I can to protect the individual rights and emotional well-being of Park Eun-seun.”
Officials have yet to comment on what action, if any, they intend to take regarding the managers’ demands. In the meantime, Korean soccer fans are hoping for a swift resolution to the conflict before the WK-League’s 2014 season opens next spring.
Sources: Hachima Kikou, Yahoo! Japan News