A court in Germany has ordered a sexist coach to train with women’s football team as punishment, after saying female referees have no place on a football field.
Heiko Vogel, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Under-23 coach, was found guilty of making the inappropriate sexist comments towards female referee officials; Vanessa Arlt and Nadine Westerhoff, on January 30, 2021.
After reviewing the case, Vogel was fined €1,500 with a two-game ban, and told to complete six female training sessions before June 30, 2021, by the court of the West German soccer association (WDFV).
Germany women’s team captain, Alexandra Popp, who also plays for Wolfsburg, as well as players from the top two divisions, have voiced their concerns over the development on Instagram.
“The question arises as to how the training of a women’s or girls’ team can be defined as punishment.
“There is no value in offering to compensate for such unsporting behaviour by offering to train a women’s team for a few hours,” Popp said.
The statement added that the judgement “discriminates against all women in sport and especially in football.”
Following the statement, the WDFV vice president, Gundolf Walaschewski, stated that the court has been asked to review the decision.
“There is no room for discrimination either in football or in society,” Walaschewski said.
“The WDFV and the football family in North Rhine-Westphalia are expressly committed to this. That means no tolerance for sexist discrimination and no tolerance for discrimination in general.”
The German football federation (DFB) vice president, Hannelore Ratzeburg, has also reacted, slamming the court’s ruling .
“It’s incomprehensible to me that training a women’s team is seen as a punishment,” he stated.
“I can therefore understand the players’ anger and why they have made themselves heard in public. We have been in talks with the WDFV for several days.
“The fact that the executive committee of the WDFV has ordered a review of the judgement is a correct and necessary sign.”