“Strategy Women in Football FF27” is the name of the paper that is intended to advance women’s and girls’ football. For the DFB, it’s also about not losing touch internationally.
The German Football Association hopes that the European Championship in England will give female football a boost – once again.
The fact that the association has lost half of its girls’ teams since 2010 shows that a lot has slipped away since the 2011 home World Cup. In the Bundesliga and the national team, interest is still very manageable. That is set to change by 2027.
“Overall, we have to get better at it. Of course, I hope that the big tournaments, as they are now pending, will give society a push and that we will make progress there, »said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf of the German Press Agency.
Want to set role models
Joti Chatzialexiou, the sporting director of the national teams, is part of the German delegation that descended on Sunday evening at the team hotel in London-Brentford. Of course, he takes a very close look at the tournament – and far beyond. “If we do very well, if we have a good tournament, if we produce role models (role models) in England, then a lot of girls will go to clubs and play football again,” said Chatzialexiou in the Sky interview. “Among other things, that will also be an objective next to the tournament that we all want to win, but also to do something for the future of our soccer girls.”
Meanwhile, more than half of Germans do not intend to watch EM games on television. This is the result of a representative survey by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency. Accordingly, 58 percent of those surveyed do not tune in when the EM tournament is running from July 6th to 31st with record European champions Germany.
In the YouGov poll, 27 percent said they watch some games. Eight percent want to follow all DFB women’s games or don’t know it yet. The team of national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg meets Denmark at the start on Friday (21.00 CEST/ZDF) in London. ARD and ZDF will broadcast all 31 games on TV or via live stream. The Internet sports channel DAZN also shows the games.
More visibility is one of the goals of the “Strategy Women in Football FF27”, which the DFB published on Monday. “We really have to step on the gas now,” said Doris Fitschen, overall coordinator and head of the “Women in Football” project. The “FF” in the 34-page strategy paper also stands for “Fast forward” (“Fast forward”), the 27 for the time goal of numerous measures and the 2027 World Cup. The DFB applied for this together with Belgium and the Netherlands.
By then, the DFB wants to increase the number of female soccer players, referees and coaches by 25 percent. The media coverage of women’s football should double across all platforms. According to its Vice President Sabine Mammitzsch, the association is setting a “really bold exclamation mark” with the project in time for the start of the EM.
Most recently, the DFB failed to boost the popularity of the Bundesliga after the 2013 European Championship triumph and the 2016 Olympic victory for German women. The average attendance there is still less than 1000 – while interest in the other European leagues has grown enormously. In addition, there are the youth problems at the base and the problems of the national team, which gambled away the Olympic participation with the World Cup quarter-finals in 2019.
According to ex-national player Fitschen, the state associations now want to be supported in “developing their own women’s football strategies”. In women’s and girls’ football, said the new DFB boss Neuendorf, “you just have to say that we can use a lot more players there. Significantly more girls in particular, but also referees and coaches.”