Ex-Nigerian striker, James Johnson, formerly known as Iyabo Abade has opened up on how he was cut off from the national team for having both male and female sexual organs.
The former Nigeria Super Falcons forward was born intersex before undergoing a gender reassignment surgery at the Midway Hospital in Los Angeles, California which cost over US$450,000, in 2004 to fully become a man.
Johnson, who was raised a female, began playing football at the age of 11 with a record of 38 goals in the 1996 Nigeria women’s league season while playing for Jegede Babes.
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.
Watch the video below:
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.
He’s faced discrimination at all levels of the game. pic.twitter.com/TnjOlNLobm
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) October 1, 2019