News : DFB: Prominent women are demanding a quota in management positions
The Fritz Keller case at the German Football Association is finally settled with the suspension of the sports court proceedings, now the badly troubled association is looking at a realignment. What this could look like in the future was made clear on Wednesday by a group of nine women who made the DFB responsible. A clear message emerges from the eight central demands: Organized professional football should by no means continue as before.
“We demand clear rules in terms of gender equality”
With well-known initiators such as the commentator Claudia Neumann or the ex-referee Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb, the DFB, which is in crisis, should be asked to rethink quickly. The women put the required measures in their paper “Football can do more” under an overall motto: “We demand clear rules in terms of gender equality in German football.”
With the “clear rules” signed by Neumann and Steinhaus-Webb, national goalkeeper Almuth Schult, fan chairwoman Helen Breit and ex-national player Katja Kraus, some will be surprised at their clarity. Among other things, a “binding quota for football associations of at least 30 percent women in management positions” is required, examples of which are given to the executive committee, board of directors and management. This should be done by 2024.
At least 30 percent women in DFB management positions
“With the at least 30 percent we are aiming for, we are still relatively low. But even 30 percent are beyond the imagination of many,” said Gaby Papenburg, who used to comment on football games and is now a member of the initiative, the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. The 30 percent should also apply to the supervisory boards of the clubs, and at least one woman should be represented on every board of directors or management.
Other members of the initiative are Jana Bernhard (managing director of S20, The Sponsors Voice), Katharina Kiel (managing director talentZONE GmbH) and Sandra Schwedler, the chairwoman of the supervisory board of the second division soccer club FC St. Pauli. On Wednesday, Kraus told dpa about the compilation: “We have all gained experience in different functions and expressed ourselves at different levels.”
Ex-national player Kraus as the next DFB president?
This paper comes at an inopportune time for the DFB, as the world’s largest sports association is already in one of its most serious crises after Boss Keller’s resignation. After all: on Wednesday the sports court closed the case against the former president and did not impose another sanction on him.
“Fritz Keller himself drew the consequences of the leadership crisis at the DFB and thus assumed responsibility for the damaged image of the DFB, for which he is certainly not solely responsible. This has made sanctions unnecessary,” said the chairman of the sports court, Hans E. Lorenz. Who will follow the 64-year-old? Ex-commentator Papenburg already has an idea with whom the drastic measures can best be organized within a few years: with ex-national player Kraus. “She would be the perfect candidate for me,” said the 61-year-old.
Kraus does not exclude office
Kraus himself sees the development critically, but not irrevocably: “So far, football has worked according to its own rules, and there is now pressure from outside for the first time. We want to increase that – and have set 2024 as a goal for our demands.” The 50-year-old has been the managing director of a sports marketing agency for years and has apparently increased interest in the general existence of a functionary.
She doesn’t want to impose herself for the office of DFB President, but she doesn’t want to hide either, as she revealed to “Die Zeit”: “I have no ambition for any office. I like my current life and my independence. But of course, a demand after change there is also an obligation to take responsibility. “
In addition to the 30 percent quota, salary transparency between men and women as well as gender-equitable and non-discriminatory language are topics of the paper that the nine women published.
Kraus has already indirectly indicated what headwinds the initiative might encounter. She said that the impartial Steinhaus-Webb had been advised within the association to “consider very carefully whether they want to be part of such an initiative. They did it anyway.” The time of publication is meanwhile independent of the current self-destruction of the DFB. This was assured by commentator Neumann of the German press agency. “That has nothing to do with the current crisis in the DFB,” she emphasized.