Footballers from Germany’s two top-tier women’s leagues, the FLYERALARM Women’s Bundesliga (FLYERALARM Frauen-Bundesliga) and the 2nd Division Bundesliga (2. Frauen-Bundesliga), have issued a letter to the German FA (DFB – Deutscher Fußball-Bund) in protest to a verdict against Borussia Mönchengladbach’s men’s U-23 team head coach Heiko Vogel.
Vogel demonstrated “unsporting behavior” towards two female assistant referees, Vanessa Arlt and Nadine Westerhoff, during a 2-1 win over SV Bergisch Gladbach last January. The regional FA, Westdeutscher Fußballverband (WDFV), fined the 44-year old coach with a two-match suspension and €1,500 for his actions. Furthermore, he was reportedly asked to coach Borussia Mönchengladbach’s women’s team for six sessions.
The verdict underlines that women’s football and women in football are still facing discrimination and sexism at all levels.
In a reaction to Vogel’s misconduct and the WDFV’s verdict, players from all 30 clubs of the FLYERALARM Frauen-Bundesliga and the 2. Frauen-Bundesliga have issued a joint protest letter on Saturday, March 20.
The letter is addressed to the DFB and the players condemn the case and urge the national body to review the WDFV’s verdict and to take a strong stand against discrimination of women in football. Furthermore, the players made clear that they feel offended, discriminated and embarrassed.
I would like to testify my full support for the campaign initiated by the Women’s footballers. Please respect and support women’s football, women in football and women in any sport and in society. There is no room in sports and society in general, for discrimination, sexism, racism or any other form of intolerance!