UEFA Euro Women: Women take power on the pitch but haven’t left yet – rts.ch

On English turf, players have shown that the level has now reached very high standards and that they are fully active in their sport. But what happens off the field? Although more and more women are holding positions of responsibility, football is still a matter of men in power.

What do Germany, England and France have in common? All of them are favorites in the final victory of the European Championship and their coach is a woman.

But Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, Sarina Wiegman and Corinne Deacon are exceptions: only 6 nations that have qualified for this competition are supervised by coaches, compared to 10 coaches.

Among these men who lead women, we find the Danish coach of Switzerland Niels Nielsen and his rival in the first women’s match of Switzerland in the European Championship, the Portuguese Francisco Neto. “As a coach, I don’t care about gender as long as people are competent and passionate.”, he says. But Neto clarifies that in a women’s team it is also important to have women in the coaching staff: “I have two assistants with me to lead the sessions”launches the Portuguese.

A man’s business

He really has no choice. specified by UEFA in its regulations for the euro that the presence of a woman is mandatory to lead the women’s teams, with a coach or at least an assistant.

It is also the case of the Swiss team squad with several women around coach Niels Nielsen. “This is good, but in the national or international structures, in the commissions where decisions are made, many women are missing.Tatjana Haenni points out before adding: It’s something we need to change very quickly, because it will help football in general. “.

The Swiss women’s football director knows what she’s talking about. She is the only woman among the 8 members of the management of the Swiss Football Association, whose central committee is also made up of 8 people, all men.

We quickly realize that women’s voice is still limited to women’s football, as Tatjana Haenni’s is not represented on this committee.

The quota solution?

The Zurich native sees a solution to this structural problem of inclusion: “I’m campaigning for the establishment of quotas, because so far it hasn’t been possible to do it naturally.” According to Tatjana Haenni, the presence of women in the decision-making bodies of football would change the overall perspective of men’s football. Ultimately, this would also benefit women’s football.

Quotas are also a measure put in place by UEFA so that at least one woman is represented on its executive committee, the supreme body of the European body made up of a total of 20 members. When we consult the UEFA websitewe think that the French Florence Hardouin seems very lonely …

Take care of it

But of the women holding positions of responsibility within the European body, there are still a few, including Nadine Kessler. After hanging up her boots, the German is now UEFA’s women’s football director. When she is told that she is surrounded almost exclusively by men in her institution, she does not contact: “I think we can’t click to change the system. We need to be more proactive and most importantly attract women to football, whether as players, as fans or as leaders.”

Before leaving us, slide another small dart in half a word: “We have to create opportunities and so far we can’t say we’ve done a good job. At UEFA, national associations and clubs we have to be more inclusive.”

European champion as a player, she is now off the field where Nadine Kessler has to fight. Like her, after taking power on the grass, women claim power on the sidelines or at the highest levels of Swiss and European football.

Leeds, Stefan Renna

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