- Women’s football was recognized in DFB legislation on 31 October 1970
- Germany contested their first official international match on 26 November 1982
- Since then, Germany has won two FIFA Women’s World Cups
Imagine the commentator of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the US and the Netherlands had uttered the words: “Cover, cover – not the table, but the players, that’s right. Free from all the trivial worries about housekeeping, husbands and children!” – both on and off social media – will be overwhelming, a storm of controversy is inevitable.
While it’s hard to imagine anyone making a comment like that in 2020, that’s what players from Germany’s unofficial women’s national team at The current sports studio a television program some 50 years ago on March 28, 1970. It was a time when men didn’t take women’s football seriously. It has even been banned since 1955 based on a unanimous decision by the German Football Association (DFB).
Only 15 years later, on 31 October 1970, women’s football was officially recognized under DFB legislation. This marked an important milestone in the history of this wonderful game in Germany, as recalled by the DFB Vice President for Equality, Women’s and Girls’ Football, Hannelore Ratzeburg.
“I was a child of the 1950s, when opportunities for women were still relatively limited,” Ratzeburg explains on the DFB website. “Football did not play any role in our family at the time. The DFB lifted its ban on women’s football in 1970, and at that time I had a friend who played for a club and we talked about it at the Christmas party. I was curious and a little bit. excited about the 1968 student movement and a spirit of rebellion, so I said I wanted to give it a try, “he said.
“I then managed to get some of the other women involved. I remember that most of them arrived at the hall for training in their gym sandals. I just wanted to meet in the hall so no one could see us from the start. We didn’t really know how we were going to. do whatever it takes. My parents put their hands up in despair. But I did it anyway. “
Many men only come to see the players swap shirts after the game – how stupid!
1970 – 2020. The five decades in which Germany has developed into one of the strongest nations in women’s football and won numerous trophies on the international stage, either at club level or with the national team. Five decades in which many big names have paved the way and created profiles for the women’s game – names like Ratzeburg, Gero Bisanz (the first coach of the women’s national team), Tina Theune, Renate Lingor (member of the Women’s Football Hall of Fame since 2019) and Barbel Wohlleben (the first woman to win the Goal of the Month in 1974), to name a few.
Then, of course, there’s Silvia Neid, who won eight European Championships, both the German Women’s World Cup title and the country’s first gold medal in Women’s Olympic Football Tournament as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.
“Our first international match in 1982 was an important milestone for me, of course,” Neid told dfb.de. “Gero Bisanz is doing a fantastic job there. Before he can do anything, he has to find out where he will find the player, because at that time there is no Women’s Bundesliga yet. There are two training sessions, one in the north of the country and one in the south. , with 30 players each. Sixteen of them made it through that process to play in the first international. There was a crowd of 5,000 in Koblenz, but we soon realized that some of them just came to make fun of us, which pissed us off. of course this match is an important starting point, as was the case in the Women’s DFB Cup final before the men’s final in Berlin. I managed to get the Goal of the Month there in 1988. “
Neid and his success with the national team have been instrumental in raising the profile of women’s football in Germany in a big way and giving it the platform it enjoys today. “Success is and remains the most important,” he explained. “Without success we would not have media interest, and without media interest we would not have had an influx into the club. That’s also very important for us as a national team, because we can then say: ‘We still need an assistant coach or physiotherapist. ‘Conditions continued to improve after that. “
It is now up to a new generation to continue on this path – to shape sports, motivate and inspire others and thus allow Neid’s wishes to come true. “The eternal battle for recognition must end somewhere,” he said. “We are playing at the highest international level and we should be proud of that. We have women with extraordinary skills who should be more involved in this sport. Maybe a woman can even lead the DFB one day.”
- 31 October 1970: Women’s football is officially recognized in the statutes of the DFB
- September 8, 1974: TuS Wörrstadt wins the first German championship
- May 2, 1981: Bergisch Gladbach wins the inaugural DFB Women’s Cup
- 26 November 1982: The now official women’s national team played their first international match in Koblenz. The result was a 5-1 win over Switzerland, with Silvia Neid scoring twice
- July 2, 1989: Germany wins the European Championship for the first time with a 4-1 win over Norway
- 23 May 2002: 1.FFC Frankfurt wins the inaugural UEFA Women’s Cup (later renamed the UEFA Women’s Champions League)
- October 12, 2003: Germany wins the Women’s World Cup
- 30 September 2007: They successfully defend their World Cup title
- August 19, 2016: Germany adds an Olympic gold medal to their trophy cabinet
- 2020: More than 1.1 million women and girls across Germany are members of the football club. Nearly 10,000 teams compete in leagues across the country
I don’t think it’s fair for women’s or men’s football to compare the two, and that’s not something I do either. Women’s football stands alone and is a fantastic sport. The game is much faster and more dynamic, much more athletic and competitive. Women’s football is right up there with the men’s game.