A German coach who told female staff at the match that “women do not belong on a football field” said he had offered to train a women’s football team as an excuse for his sexist remarks.
“I never intended to offer this as part of any form of punishment,” Borussia Mönchengladbach under-23 coach Heiko Vogel said late Tuesday. “I presented it as a proposal to show that I want to apologize. of girls and women who play football at Borussia. ”
Vogel said he made his proposal to the West German Football Association’s (WDFV) sports court when his case was heard following his sexist comments to employees Vanessa Arlt and Nadine Westerhof at a match involving his team on January 30th.
“I am very sorry for my behavior. After I was sent, I had an emotional outburst in which I said that women do not belong on a football field. It was stupid, unsportsmanlike and discriminatory. “My statement is completely unjustified and I would like to make it clear that it does not reflect my personal attitude,” Vogel said in a statement on the club’s website.
Vogel was banned for two games and fined 1,500 euros ($ 1,800) by the court, with Gladbach imposing an additional club fine.
“During the WDFV hearing, Heiko Vogel offered to lead several training sessions for Borussia’s women’s teams, along with his personal apology. This was included in writing as a condition in the final sentence, “said the club.
The court’s verdict says Vogel was ordered to take on six training sessions for a women’s or girls’ team before June 30 as part of his sentence.
This provoked widespread criticism. The WDFV called for a review of the decision, the German Football Federation (DFB) denied the “incomprehensible” decision, and players from Germany’s top two divisions issued a joint statement on Saturday asking “how training a women’s or girls’ team can be defined as punishment ”and said that it“ discriminates against all women in sports. ”German captain Alexandra Pop shared it, among others.
“We are in 2021 !!!” Pop wrote on Instagram.
DFB President Fritz Keller held a video conference with Pop and German goalkeeper Almut Schult on Monday.
“It was a useful and open exchange of stones that are placed in the way of our players,” Keller said on Tuesday. “They are still in a structural disadvantage. Not acceptable. “
Keller also criticized the court’s decision, saying the players had his full support.
“Unreasonable speech and the unthinkable ‘punishment’ of coaching a women’s team are just a manifestation of thought patterns that are unfortunately still very common in football today,” he said.
Keller added that it was important “for all of us to fight together. I promised our athletes my full support. “
Vogel said he understood the anger caused by his proposal, which was seen as a punishment, not a means of apology.
“My intention has always been to follow my verbal apologies with actions,” said Vogel, who said he still hopes to coach a women’s team.
“This is something I would very much like to do, because it is very important for me to be able to apologize to all the toys. “I know among the players that the best way to do that is to work together on the pitch,” Vogel said. “But this will only continue if the players want to participate.”