West German FA Criticized for Making Coach Train Women's Team as 'Punishment'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

Basel's coach Heiko Vogel, from Germany, gestures to supporters at the end of their Europa League Group G soccer match against Sporting at Sporting's Alvalade stadium in Lisbon, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Francisco Seco/Associated Press

The West German FA (WDFV) is drawing criticism for requiring a Borussia Monchengladbach under-23 coach train the women's team as a form of punishment, according to ESPN's Stephan Uersfeld

Uersfeld wrote Heiko Vogel was banned for two matches for "unsporting behaviour" toward the officials during a U23 match in January. As a consequence, he received a €1,500 fine and was ordered to coach a women's or girl's team for six training sessions.

German football journalist Nicole Selmer explained the obvious issue with the decision.

"It shows that at whatever level women and girls play football, they are not taken as serious as men and boys," Selmer said. "This punishment for the Gladbach coach puts coaching a women's team on a level with social work. But it's not like that. Women's football is a sport, and those who participate in it are as professional as their male counterparts.

"If you strip away everything and give it to them they have good intentions, it is still sending a fatal message, as coaching a women's or girls' team is part of a punishment for a misconduct."

The WDFV declined to comment, telling Uersfeld the ruling was "pending litigation."

The Gladbach women sit third in the northern group of Germany's second division. They're unbeaten through two matches and play Cloppenburg on Sunday.

Vogel has completed his two-match ban and will be back coaching the U23 team on Saturday.