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Sweden’s women football team had to “show their genitalia” for a doctor at the 2011 Women’s World Cup to prove their sex, according to their centre-back Nilla Fischer.

Writing in her new book, I Didn’t Even Say Half Of It, Fischer described the process, which was carried out by a female physiotherapist on behalf of the doctor, as “sick and humiliating”.

“We were told that we should not shave ‘down there’ in the coming days and that we will show our genitalia for the doctor,” wrote Fischer, who was capped 194 times.

“No one understands the thing about shaving but we do as we are told and think ‘how did it get to this?’ Why are we forced to do this now, there has to be other ways to do this. Should we refuse?

“At the same time no one wants to jeopardise the opportunity to play at a World Cup. We just have to get the shit done no matter how sick and humiliating it feels.”

The tests had followed protests from Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana following allegations that members of the Equatorial Guinea squad included men.

Fifa had also issued gender recognition policies two weeks before the tournament, which required teams to sign a guarantee that all players chosen for the World Cup were “of an appropriate gender”. The rules say that it lies with each team to “ensure the correct gender of all players by actively investigating any perceived deviation in secondary sex characteristic”.

Fischer detailed the process in further detail during an interview this week for the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “I understand what I have to do and quickly pull down my training pants and underwear at the same time,” she said. “The physio nods and says ‘yup’ and then looks out at the doctor who is standing with his back to my doorway. He makes a note and moves on in the corridor to knock on the next door.

“When everyone on our team is checked, that is to say, has exposed their vagina, our team doctor can sign that the Swedish women’s national football team consists only of women.

“We had a very safe environment in the team. So it was probably the best environment to do it in. But it’s an extremely strange situation and overall not a comfortable way to do it.”

It was previously common in sports for women to undergo a swab test, which collects DNA from the inside of their cheek, to verify their gender and there have been calls recently for this procedure to be reintroduced on a wider scale.

Mats Börjesson, who was Sweden’s team doctor in 2011, said Fifa demanded testing following rumours about Equatorial Guinea’s team.

“The sports world has tried to create fairness for girls so that they don’t train their whole lives and then someone comes in with an unreasonable advantage,” he said.

Fifa say that they have “taken note of recent comments made by Nilla Fischer around her experiences and gender verification testing conducted by the Swedish national team at the 2011 Women’s World Cup”.

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