In a bold move that has exasperated experts and confounded campaigners, Maxine Grant, 47, of Chigwell, has today announced her decision to self-identify as Mesut Özil.
Accounts manager Maxine accepted that she was bucking the general trend in self-identification in sport, which tended to involve individuals with so-called masculine attributes, such as long muscular limbs, choosing to identify as women to gain what some might regard as an unfair advantage.
‘Unlike trans athletes wishing to compete against women, I don’t need to undergo hormone treatments or anything, and no one can accuse me of cheating,’ said Maxine. ‘Basically it’s against my human rights to stop me identifying as Mr Özil, and my lawyer will sue the arse off anyone who says otherwise.’
‘I don’t have to do any fitness training or even learn to kick a ball, which I would need to do if I wanted to compete in women’s football,’ she continued. ‘There are plenty of benchwarmers I could have chosen, but Mesut fits the bill perfectly. I can even get to home matches by tube.
‘In exchange for £350k a week, I can sit on the sidelines for most of a match and maybe come on for a few minutes towards the end. So what if no one passes the ball to me? I could drift around near the edge of the box and maybe win the occasional free kick or penalty. OK, so he can play a bit, but apart from that no one would notice the difference.’
Manager Unai Emery said he was looking forward to Maxine’s arrival, which would make his life less stressful and improve team spirit. ‘And when Özil’s contract runs out, she could help to stiffen up the defence and get them to come from behind occasionally. Oh shit, I knew my English would get me into trouble eventually.’