It’s not easy to be a woman in the world of football. A sport that has been mainly dominated by men, it’s clearly had to make an impact if you’re a woman. Still, women haven’t given up and still fighting to make football their sport as well as making it equal for both parts.
Women’s football has grown exponentially in the last year, thanks to the impressive achievements made by some fantastic players. But the involvement of women in men’s football is also crucial in the battle for equality.
More female experts are on TV, the women’s game is growing, and in Germany, BV Cloppenburg has hired a woman to coach their men’s team.
Former Germany women’s Under-20 midfielder Imke Wuebbenhorst was last month appointed head coach of the men’s team at BV Cloppenburg.
Imke Wübbenhorst is the first woman to coach a men’s team in Germany’s top five tiers. She’s something of a pioneer and will inevitably face many obstacles throughout her coaching career at Germany. And that’s exactly what she needed to face recently in a press conference, after an unexpected question.
The unexpected question was made by German outlet ‘Welt’, who jokingly asked if she had an alarm before entering the dressing room, to ensure her players cover themselves up. The response Wübbenhorst gave left the journalist and everyone speechless.
“Of course not, I am a professional… I base my selections on penis lengths,” the 30-year-old replied sarcastically.
After that, now she faces a harder task: The task of lifting up the men’s team at BV Cloppenburg, which currently sits at the bottom of the Lower Saxony Oberliga in the fifth tier of German football.
Clearly, the presence of a female head coach in Germany’s lower leagues has attracted plenty of media attention, but Wübbenhorst is focused only on the task she has been given. At the same time, she refuses to see herself as a pioneer for other women.
“The topic bounces off me. I want to be judged on performances, not on whether I’m a woman or a man,” she told to Cloppenburg’s official website. “We only have 12 games left to stay in the league. It’s going to be a tough job.”
“Several of my peers have described my new task as a suicide mission, and asked me why I do such a thing, but other clubs are not exactly lining up for me.
“The only fear I have is that relegation would be blamed on the fact that I am a woman,” she said at the end.
Wübbenhorst took over Cloppenburg’s men’s team in December and faces a tough task in lifting the side out of the relegation zone. All the good luck to Wübbenhorst and BV Cloppenburg, who are fighting to stay, but at the same time, fight for the equality and integration of women into this sport called “football”.