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Women’s football: Debate about female referees: Clubs demand male referees, the DFB stonewalls

Women’s football: Debate about female referees: Clubs demand male referees, the DFB stonewalls

In the women’s Bundesliga there is growing criticism of the female referees, who are not at the same level as the men. The fact is that professional structures are missing and there is a problem with young talent. That is the current situation.

1. FC Nürnberg has made public a simmering debate with its criticism of the referees in the women’s Bundesliga and thus the DFB. The German Football Association reacts angrily. The problems are complex – but there is a promising solution.

What are the fundamental problems?

The refereeing system is sometimes unable to keep up with the rapid developments in women’s football. Even top female referees sometimes still work full-time. The DFB also has youth problems. There is no one like Bibiana Steinhaus, who became the first woman to referee a men’s Bundesliga game in 2017, in sight. In the women’s Bundesliga there is still no video evidence that could correct mistakes made by the game managers. The conditions in the stadiums, money and personnel are missing for this.MReif_Interview15.06

What does 1. FC Nuremberg say?

The Bundesliga newcomer complained bitterly about the performance of female referees. “We are at a point where the current situation in the referee area (…) is no longer acceptable and where we also have to and want to consciously publicly point out qualitative grievances and structural deficits at the DFB,” says Osman Cankaya, Sporting director of the women’s club, and emphasized in a press release: “We are talking about a cross-club, league-wide problem here.”

How does the DFB react?

“For us there is no question that structural work needs to be done on the conditions and requirements for the referees. This applies to all areas of the league,” admits DFB Vice President Sabine Mammitzsch. She and her colleague Ronny Zimmermann also reacted angrily to the criticism from Nuremberg. “With all understanding of the displeasure over wrong decisions, it is not okay how our referees are being put under public pressure. That has nothing to do with fair play,” says Zimmermann, who is vice-president of the German Football Association, among other things, for refereeing. beings responsible.

“It is very strange how our female referees are publicly pilloried in this way,” says Mammitzsch, who is responsible for women’s and girls’ football at the association. She was also indirectly referring to an Instagram video that the Nuremberg team published on their official channel: There, referee Nadine Westerhoff is pictured with characters from a Canadian children’s television series when she made a wrong decision in the 4-0 defeat for the club women in Bremen. This post wasn’t well received in the league either.

How does the league react?

FC Bayern and VfL Wolfsburg refer to previous statements made by those responsible and do not want to comment at the moment. The same applies to third-placed Eintracht Frankfurt. Mammitzsch warns that “a common path between the association and clubs is essential”.

What is the specific DFB problem – and perhaps a solution?

Those responsible such as Bianca Rech from German champions FC Bayern Munich and Ralf Kellermann from VfL Wolfsburg complained weeks ago that the referees at the top level at the DFB were separated. “We are the only top nation in Europe that affords not to fill the referee teams with men,” said Kellermann. Referees from the men’s professional leagues are not allowed to referee in the women’s upper house because there are separate squads for the referees at the DFB. Only women whistle in the women’s Bundesliga.

As the highest-ranking referees in men’s football, Riem Hussein, Fabienne Michel and Franziska Wildfeuer are among the 25 referees in the 3rd league. The DFB made a clear statement on Wednesday about the possibility of allowing male game managers to whistle in the women’s Bundesliga in the future, at least with a view to the current round: The squads in each league would also be determined by the referees before the season, “a change in the current season is not possible here”.

“Wrong decisions are always annoying, and that’s what our female referees are most annoyed about. Regardless, we are convinced that a person’s performance is not related to gender,” says Zimmermann. “Men are not automatically better referees.”

Source: Stern

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