Borussia Monchengladbach U23s Coach 'Ordered' To Train Women's Team As Punishment
Heiko Vogel, the Borussia Monchengladbach under-23 coach, has been ordered to train a women's team as punishment for his "unsporting behaviour" to a referee.
Vogel, who has previously managed Basel in the Champions League, has been banned from the Gladbach U23s dugout for two games for his misconduct towards a referee and two assistants during a match in late January.
However, according to ESPN, the 44-year-old's punishment from the Western German FA involves a €1,500 fine and an order to coach a women's or girls' team for six sessions, with Vogel given until 30 June to fulfil that part of the verdict.
This has caused outrage on social media, with football fans pointing out the sexism implied in the punishment doled out to the Gladbach coach.
"How is coaching a women's team a punishment? That's just sexism," replied one Twitter user.
"Wait, why are they punishing the women's team for his behaviour?" asked another football fan.
The intention might have been positive - that an experienced coach such as Vogel gives something back to the grassroots of the sport. But it is, at the very least, terrible optics to imply that coaching a female team is a form of punishment for a manager.
Nicole Selmer of the Frauen im Fussball (Women in Football) network told ESPN that the verdict sent "a fatal message".
"It shows that at whatever level women and girls play football, they are not taken as serious as men and boys," said Selmer.
"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.
"If you strip away everything and give it to them they have good intentions, it is still sending a fatal message, as coaching a women's or girls' team is part of a punishment for a misconduct."
Featured image credit: PA Images
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