Sports & Politics

End of the world looks different

In some things, the Netherlands is quicker to take off its blinkers than other countries with a comparable social and political status. Let's think of cannabis, for example - of course we are not talking about the use of hashish here (prayer wheel on!), but the relaxation in the Netherlands has led neither to a decline in morals nor to an increase in crime, on the contrary.

Now a remarkable piece of news has reached the astonished public: in the Netherlands, women will be allowed to play soccer in mixed teams with men in all amateur leagues. The local soccer association speaks of a historic moment for amateur soccer, also worldwide. It is about girls and women having a place in the soccer landscape.

Until now, mixed teams were only possible at youth and senior level in the Netherlands. Last season there was a test run, so to speak: The Frisian Ellen Fokkema was the first woman in the country to be allowed to play in the senior men's team of an amateur club.

The media are already talking about a "revolution", although the association justifies its advance with "diversity and equality". Nevertheless, in some places the men's world seems to be threatened, perhaps even disappearing. The well-known (reactionary) German medium "Junge Freiheit" brings up the gnarled former coach of Turbine Potsdam, Bernd Schröder, who, along with many others, believes that women's and men's soccer are two different sports.

How so?

The rules are identical, but the women are not yet as rough as the men, but they are (unfortunately) catching up. On the other hand, they often play the more attractive combination football, where some men look for success like attack dogs.

Physiological differences?

Yes, women run the 100 metres - measured in world records - a good second slower. In addition, statistically speaking, they suffer cruciate ligament tears faster than men. And finally, they "don't have balls, we have ponytails" as German national team players satirised the testosterone behaviour.

"Girls" enrich the sport

Retired police officer Uwe Schmitt (60) was elected chairman of FC Concordia Wilhelmsruh at the German capital Berlin at the end of 2018. Founded in 1895, the club is one of the founding members of the German Soccer Association. Under Schmitt's leadership, the club is developing ambitions other than just shining on the big stage with the first team: social aspects and youth development - and a special focus on girls' soccer - are important points.

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