Not 'lean' enough for lingerie football

RASHIDA YOSUFZAI
Last updated 12:29 16/12/2013
Lingerie football
Facebook/LFL

LOOKS OVER ABILITY: Australian Lingerie Football League players pose for the camera.

Lingerie football
Facebook/Mikaila Perret
MIKAILA PERRETT: Told she wasn't "lean" enough for the Lingerie Football League.

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A young woman says she was devastated after being rejected from the Lingerie Football League (LFL) and told she wasn't ''lean'' enough.

The LFL says it selects its female gridiron players on their athleticism, speed, hand-eye co-ordination and strength.

However they play in bikinis and heavy make-up and are required to sign a clause in their contract agreeing to ''accidental nudity''.

The LFL will screen for the first time on Australian commercial TV on the Seven Network's male-focused digital channel 7mate this weekend.

Originally an American phenomenon, the league was rebranded to Legends Football League earlier this year after complaints it was sexist and exploited women.

Brisbane father Randy Perrett says he encouraged his daughter Mikaila to sign up to play in the league because he thought it was an exciting sports competition. But Mikaila was rejected from playing with local LFL team the Queensland Brigade after sending LFL management a photo of herself in a bikini as required under her contract.

''She needs to lean out from what I can tell in this photo,'' the LFL said in its response.In a subsequent statement to AAP, spokeswoman Kelly Campbell said the code required all players to be in ''great physical condition''.

''Unfortunately, Ms Mikaila Perrett did not take being physically prepared seriously, and as a result was not cleared to compete last week,'' she said.

Ms Perrett said she was shattered when she was told the news, about an hour before Saturday's Brigades clash against the NSW Surge.

''Not every girl is built the same. I'm built completely different to other girls in the team. I was (insulted).''

The response showed the LFL wasn't about ''skills, but skin'', her father said.''All of this is about ... having sexy-looking woman in the field. ''If somebody wants to have a crack at their sport, regardless of what they look like, they should be allowed.''

The LFL said Ms Perrett could apply to return if she demonstrated a commitment to get into ''great physical condition''.

''We expect our athletes to maintain a certain level of athletic shape which ultimately impacts their performance on the pitch,'' Ms Campbell said.''If those standards are not met, once again like any other sport, those individuals are not cleared to play.''

Ms Perrett rejected the offer.''The weight thing has always been on the back of my mind throughout this whole thing.

''I know some girls have quit because they were starving themselves, drinking liquid diets.''The LFL has been criticised by groups like Collective Shout for sexualising women's sport.''I think it's soft porn because you're not seeing real, everyday women, it's glamour models,'' Mr Perrett said.

The league rejects that view.''Any suggestion that the LFL is more about appearance versus athletic ability is usually from someone who is not familiar with our athletes, or understand how LFL athletes are physically and mentally tested, prior to being extended a contract from a club.    

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''Such suggestions have come from someone who either could not, or has not, met the LFL standards and simply is disgruntled,'' Ms Campbell said.

- AAP

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