South Africa’s Olympic champion Caster Semenya has reportedly signed for a local football club JVW.
The renowned athlete is now set to play football potentially next year as her challenges with the IAAF continue.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist in the 800 metres will be playing football for JVW, owned by South Africa women’s captain Janine van Wyk.
The announced of the signing of the 28-year-old was made public on Thursday.
“I am grateful for this opportunity and I appreciate the love and support I already get from the team,” Semenya said in a statement.
“I am looking forward to this new journey, and hopefully I can contribute as much as I can to the club.”
Although Semenya will train with the JVW club, she cannot make her debut in the SAFA Sasol Women’s League until 2020.
Officials say the transfer window for the women’s league has ended hence Semenya’s inability to play until next year.
Happy to announce my signing with @jvwgirlsfootball for 2020 season. Looking forward to this journey. 🐍 pic.twitter.com/9Urd7aQ3NF
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) September 6, 2019
Club owner Van Wyk has welcomed the signing Semenya saying “I am extremely elated to have such an iconic athlete join my football club”.
“I am absolutely honoured that out of all the other women’s clubs around the world, she has chosen JVW as the club where she would like to start showcasing her football skills.
“I welcomed her at her first training with the team on Tuesday, and was impressed to see that she definitely has all the fundamentals.
“I look forward to her working with coach Ciara [Picco] and our first team where I am sure she will sharpen up and get ready to play in 2020.
“Although I won’t be here for the rest of the year, as I have just signed with Fortuna Hjorring, I have no doubt that Caster will fit right in, and enjoy her time at the club.”
Semenya could be turning to football due to the controversy surrounding her athletics career.
There are issues surrounding her testosterone levels preventing her from competing at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha later this year.