Germany - November 04, 2022 22:00Where is our national team? German girls fighting for their rightsFutsalplanet editor note: on Wednesday 2nd we have received and obviously agreed to publish this letter by a group of german futsal players asking for the expected and promised women's national team introduction by DFB.

No need to say that we're ready to welcome a reply or clarification from DFB regarding the matter.

On our side, as usual, the purpose is just to support all futsal lovers all around the world and we definitely can't wait for Germany making their official debut on the international women's futsal stage. Get on board, you will enjoy!

Cover photo courtesy: FISU

Letter written and signed by a group of german women's futsal players

Our journey to found a German women’s futsal national team started in the fall of 2021 when the German Football Association (DFB) first invited 25 female futsal players to the first ever assessment session for a national team. And it abruptly came to an end when against all previous communication, the DFB governing board decided against the official introduction of a German women’s futsal national team. Now, we call on the DFB to take action, stand by all their gender equality claims and form a futsal national team for women.

Since October of 2021, five training camps and one scouting tournament have taken place with more than 40 players being invited to partake in either of them. Since day one we have been told that even though there was no official team yet, the DFB was eager to add a women’s national team to the already existing men’s national team, which was formed in 2016. At first, the qualifiers for the Women’s Euros in the summer of 2022 were our goal, but because there was a change in the DFB presidency, the association found an easy way out to postpone the official introduction of the team. We, the players, were disappointed that we apparently had to wait another one to two years for our first official international match. But we kept our heads up and kept working because our coaching staff kept saying that it won’t be a big problem to found the official national team and that only formalities were left to deal with. We even looked at the positive side of the postponement and were happy to have more time to build a competitive national team for the qualifiers in 2024. In May 2022, we had the last training weekend with 25 players.

Even the new executive board, which took office in March of 2022, with five women holding a spot, could not get this topic passed. Several executive meetings took place but the decision kept being pushed to future meetings. We felt like the women’s national team was not an important topic within the DFB governing board and that it clearly lacked support. Other futsal related topics discussed and decisions made pertained to the men’s Bundesliga, the men’s national team, and even a possible men’s U19 national team, but never the women’s national team.

In the summer of 2022, we were finally told that on September 9th, we could expect a final decision and once again we thought that this was it, that the forming a German futsal national team was only a formality. Once again, we were disappointed – no women’s national team was formed. Yet, a U19 men’s national team was founded. Until October 14th, we did not even get an official notice from the DFB, we had only heard rumours suggesting that no women’s team was formed. That day, an email sent to us by assistant coach Maximilian Maleszka finally crushed our dreams. Maleszka informed us that the reason the committee decided against a women’s national team was a lack of financial resources and structures for German women futsal. Due to this decision, all planned training sessions for the year 2022 had to be cancelled.

The timing of the DFB executive board could not have been worse as German women’s futsal had just made a name for itself at the World University Championships in Braga (Portugal). The young talents took home sixth place, left their marks and earned the respect of the other competing nations, showing the potential of women’s futsal in Germany. They lost two close games against the Ukraine with 3:2 each and also scored two goals against the silver medallist from Brazil who did not concede any other goals until their final match against Portugal. Most of the players had their first international experiences at a large futsal tournament and we’re proud to say that those players really showed that a women’s national team has a bright future in the international futsal world. The team was also honoured by the German University association (adh) for their performance in Portugal and received an award for the best University Team of the year 2022. Additionally, the ladies from UFC Münster competed for the University of Münster at the European Universities (EUSA) Games in Lódz (Poland) and finished in third place. These are two great examples of the high level of women’s futsal being played in Germany.

We understand that there are only six teams currently playing in the only German futsal league for women but we also wonder how women’s futsal is supposed to grow in Germany if there are no shining examples and no support from the national association? We need a national team with role models to show more girls and women that futsal is a rising sport with great possibilities like playing for their country. Not investing in the development of the sport, yet expecting to see a good structure in the national league simply do not go together.

To continue to be ready for any upcoming changes, the coaching staff came up with a strategy to prepare for the Euro’s 2024/25 and turned it into the DFB management. Next, we’re hoping for a positive response from the DFB Futsal committee. Until then, we can’t train and we can’t participate in any international matches for preparation.

For now, we demand answers from the DFB governing board on why there was enough money for a U19 men’s team but no possibility to invest in a German women’s national team. We also demand the DFB to value our performances this summer and the work we put in in the last years and establish a German women’s national team. Other nations have shown their success, a country characterized by its love for the game of football should not be afraid to invest in women and their future on the field.

In order to take action, spread the word about this unequal treatment by the DFB and gain support from the public, we started a petition directed at the governing board of the DFB. This petition can be found here.

Letter signed by

SARAH JABBES - KÖLN, 01.11.2022
JOHANNA GROß - MÜNSTER, 02.11.2022
WIEBKE TEPE - KÖLN, 02.11.2022

A german attempt vs Brazil in the last World University Women's Futsal Championships (Photo courtesy: FISU)

German girls celebrating after scoring a goal in the World University Women's Futsal Championships 2022 (Photo courtesy: FISU)

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