Euro 2022: Who’s stopping the coaches? , game | dw

Euro 2022: Who's stopping the coaches?  ,  game |  dw

Less than half of the teams at Euro 2022 have a female coach – that’s just six of the 16 teams. Other teams are coached by men. “We know there is still room for improvement in coaching,” national coach Martina Vos-Tecklenburg said recently. “We have to provide opportunities. But we also have to make sure there are equal opportunities.”

The numbers in international women’s football are stagnant. Of the 24 teams in the 2019 World Cup, only nine had head coaches. There were as many in the 2015 World Cup. There were only six coaches at the 2017 European Championship – just like this summer.

It also does not include regional tournaments from other FIFA federations. In European national teams, men still dominate coaching positions.

Many successes of trainers

In this question, the DFB differs from the associations of other countries. Since 1996, the German national team has been coached exclusively by women. “Most of the titles are won by women’s coaches and not men,” Vos-Tecklenburg said.

Germany experienced the most successful times among coaches. Sylvia Neid, who was in office from 2005 to 2016, led Germany to titles at the World Championships, European Championships and Olympic Games.

Sylvia Neede won the European Championship as a player and coach of a national team

But the DFB team is not the only team which has achieved such heights under the supervision of a coach. For example, Jill Ellis led USA to two World Cup victories in 2015 and 2019. She is the only coach to have won the title twice.

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or Canada. In 2020, the Canadian FA signed the then 34-year-old Beverly Priestman – making her one of the youngest head coaches in international football. And that decision turned out to be absolutely right. Priestman made history at the Tokyo Olympics when he gave Canada its first gold medal in football.

Germany as a role model?

Despite these success stories, it remains difficult for women to find jobs in top-flight football – Germany being a notable exception. Since the DFB debuted the national team in 1982, Germany has had only one men’s coach – perhaps two if you count Horst Hrubesch, who took over the captaincy for eight games in 2018 on an interim basis.

Theresa Merck stands on the edge of the field with her arms crossed

Theresa Merck of Freiburg is the only coach in the Bundesliga

“Creating equal opportunities is a big issue here. All I can say is that the DFB is a role model,” Vos-Tecklenburg said. “We have coaches everywhere and a diverse team. We are on the right track.” In addition to the head coach, there are several other staff around the team, such as a psychologist, media spokesperson and other women in the functional team. However: even in the Women’s Bundesliga, only one of the twelve teams has a trainer.

only six percent coaches

“I had some challenges. But I think it also had something to do with me. I’ve always followed this straight path and didn’t let anything stop me,” Vos-Tecklenburg says. “But I’m not exactly the best role model,” said the national coach. “We should ask women who started coaching but then gave up and chose something else. Or who for some reason decided not to take the next step.”

According to UEFA statistics, only six percent of all qualified coaches are women. There is no clear reason for this. Persistent sexism, lack of support or lack of opportunities may be the reason. Women often feel that they are not taken seriously in the (soccer) environment.

Jörg Strohschein. translated from english by

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