Germany U-23 coach ‘ordered’ to train women’s team as punishment for abusing 2 female officials

Last Updated: Sunday, 21 March 2021 (11:43 IST)
Germany’s female stars vented their fury at soccer bosses after they told a to train the club’s women’s team as a punishment for abusing referees.

A ruling from a German sports court fined Die Fohlen’s under-23 manager €1,500 ($1,800), and banned him for two league games.
 
But they also ordered him to take charge of six training sessions of a women’s or girls’ team before June 30, sparking fury among the country’s elite female players.
 
What has the reaction been?
 
Wolfsburg forward Alexandra Popp shared a statement on behalf of women plying their trade in Germany’s top two divisions.
 
Popp’s post on her Instagram account said the decision “discriminates against all women in sport and especially in soccer.”
 
“The question arises as to how the training of a women’s or girls’ team can be defined as punishment,” the post by the captain said.
 
“There is also no value in offering to compensate for such unsporting behavior by offering to train a women’s team for a few hours.”
 
Vogel, a former Champions League coach at Swiss club FC Basel, was hauled before the panel over remarks he made to Vanessa Arlt and Nadine Westerhoff, who were officiating at a game involving his team on January 30.
 
Arlt told the local Westfälischen Nachrichten newspaper that as Vogel left the pitch he said “women have no place on the football field.”
 
What have football executives done about it?
 
The Western German FA, known by its German-language acronym WDFV, said it disagreed with the punishment and that it has asked the court to review the decision.
 
“There is no room for discrimination either in soccer or in society,” its Vice-President Gundolf Walaschewski said.
 
Hannelore Ratzeburg, vice-president at Germany’s national football federation, called the punishment “incomprehensible.”
 
“I can therefore understand the players’ anger and why they make themselves heard in public,” he said. “The fact that the executive committee of the WDFV has clearly positioned itself and ordered a review of the judgment is a correct and necessary sign.”
 
Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl had already criticized Vogel, who started his coaching career with Bayern Munich, for his comments to the officials.
 
“Heiko has definitely made a mistake. What he said was inappropriate. We disapprove of that here at this club,” he said on Friday.