‘The heat is incoming’: Uproar after Champions League side sends coach to train women’s team because he had row with a female ref


Critics have leapt to slam Borussia Monchengladbach after a candidate to become the German side’s next manager was told to coach their women’s team – although the measure appears to be less shocking than their detractors believe.

Gladbach under-23s coach Heiko Vogel has been ordered to lead six sessions with a female team at the club by the end of June alongside a punishment for “unsporting behavior” towards a referee during a recent match, the West German FA has confirmed.

Critics of the move swiftly pounced after reading the news, with the general manager of one English club labeling it as a “punishment” and a sign of “the day-to-day c**p we’re talking about.”

After one observer correctly predicted that “the heat is incoming” on social media, the Champions League side, who were knocked out at the round of 16 stage by English giants Manchester City on Tuesday, were accused of sexism by several of the more serious responses to the development, with one reader claiming themselves to be “speechless and disgusted”.

None of the seemingly outraged posters seemed to respond when a German football expert pointed out that important details had been missed by “lazy reporting”.

“The unsportsmanlike conduct was towards a female official and the training sessions are more for educational purposes for Vogel,” they explained.

“It’s worth noting that German football has female referees in it’s top divisions, and incidents like this are rare.

“German football federations feel like this is an adequate way of dealing with the incidents that do occur and, with the normality of women in refereeing here, it seems to work.

“I’m pleasantly surprised at how much women are involved in all levels of men’s German football.

“From referees, coaches, to physios, recruitment and also broadcast journalism, it’s a hell of a lot more than in the UK.

“Representation matters and it’s no surprise that there’s less misogyny when it comes to women in men’s football here.”

Nicole Selmer, of German network Women in Football, offered a less impressed response.

“It shows that at whatever level women and girls play football, they are not taken as serious as men and boys,” she argued to ESPN, lambasting what she saw as a “fatal message”.

“This punishment for the Gladbach coach puts coaching a women’s team on a level with social work. But it’s not like that.

“Women’s football is a sport and those who participate in it are as professional as their male counterparts.”

Telling people to “read the whole f***ing thread” in order to be better informed, the poster who had provided greater insight into the situation pointed out: “Vogel has a vast and experienced coaching career to share to these women’s players.

“Please don’t comment how it’s a punishment or bad on these women: it’s dealt with a lot better in Germany for women than in the UK.

“I’m not going to argue against a system that has a lot more women in these positions than other countries, bar maybe France.

“It’s worth noting where Vogel has come from from a coaching perspective and that he has a lot to offer for players – which is the point.”

In a reply that was liked by an account aiming to “smash the football patriarchy one post at a time”, a writer with self-declared “badass feminist views” responded: “It just seems a bit strange, if his actions towards a woman were deemed inappropriate, to then band him together with other women. That in itself doesn’t feel appropriate or comfortable.”

Gladbach were said to have enquired about whether 44-year-old Vogel would be unable to take charge of first-team matches as part of his two-match ban, which could suggest that he is one of the options being lined up to replace outgoing coach Marco Rose, who will take over at rivals Borussia Dortmund next season.

Vogel was also fined $1,785 for his conduct towards the official.

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