Let’s play a little bit of catch up today, giving us all a chance to get up to date on a continuing story.
Ramble of the Day
Last week, news broke that Borussia Mönchengladbach II manager Heiko Vogel received punishment for sexist comments during a match. Per ESPN, he told assistant referee Vanessa Arlt, “women have absolutely no place in football” and then said “women should be banned from football” when he was sent off. The punishment: a two match ban, a €1500 fine, and being ordered by the West German FA to lead six training sessions for a women’s or girls’ team.
It’s very obviously sexist, so much so that players from the women’s first and second divisions in Germany issued an open letter over the weekend:
"We ask how training women can be set as punishment. Training is never a punishment for a coach, but their job - no matter if male or female athletes. The judgment discriminates all women in sports, especially in soccer."— Jasmina Schweimler (@JasSchweimler) March 20, 2021
"This is a lot more than unsporting. It's discriminating and offending.— Jasmina Schweimler (@JasSchweimler) March 20, 2021
We urge you, as the highest institution of German football, to take a stand and take action!
We all feel offended, discriminated and ridiculed."
The incident inspired Germany captain Alexandra Popp to have a meeting with German FA president Fritz Keller. She later spoke to ESPN about why she was critical of the West German FA’s ruling and Vogel’s comments:
Maybe you should consider if those people should still have a place in football instead of sending them to a women’s team. It’s just the wrong approach. It devalues women’s football, it ridicules women’s football. ... Whether I am on a football pitch or a man does the housework. It doesn’t matter. It’s 2021. Let people live the lives they want to live.
I think Popp explains the whole thing so well. I can only guess at the intention of the West German FA, but whatever the intent, I cannot imagine it was designed to make female footballers feel ridiculed. The point I find most notable is Popp’s first — the problem is not just Vogel being incredibly sexist, it’s the West German FA having people who thought this decision was fine. A two match is definitely too small a punishment, but you can’t trust the people doling down the punishment to properly handle the situation.
Links of the Day
Former England forward Frank Worthington died aged 72.
The Spanish government lifted travel restrictions for people traveling from the UK, meaning Liverpool and Manchester United can play their European ties there.
Cesare Prandelli resigned as Fiorentina manager, saying a “dark cloud” developed inside him.
CBS reportedly picked up the US rights to Serie A, beginning next season.
A longer read: Jonathan Liew on the unfair standards set for victims of racism in the sporting world for the Guardian