Girls and boys as old as 16 will be allowed to play football in the same teams from the start of next season, following a rule change by the Football Association.
The FA has raised the age limit for mixed football from under-15s to under-16s - the fourth increase in as many seasons - in a bid to give more girls more choice over what teams they can play for.
As recently as the 2010/11 season, FA rules allowed only girls of primary school age (under-11s) to play football with boys. The FA raised the age group from under-13s for the following season, before incremental one-year increases for each of the following seasons.
The FA say that the change - unanimously voted in by FA shareholders at their Annual General Meeting last month - will come into effect for the 2014-15 season and will enable then to conduct further research into mixed football at this older age group.
Kelly Simmons, FA Director of National Game and Women’s Football, said: “This is really great news and we are delighted that the FA shareholders fully supported the rule change to enable boys and girls to play in the same teams if they wish to do so up to the under-16 age limit.
“The most important thing is to give girls who want to play football the choice.”
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Image courtesy of TheFA.com