Imke Wubbenhorst, who manages BV Cloppenburg in the fifth tier of German football, didn’t lose her calm when a possibly condescending or sexist question came her way.
She told Welt how a journalist had asked whether she warned players to put their pants on when she entered the dressing room. “Of course not, I’m a professional,” she had responded, sarcastically. “I pick my players based on their penis size.”
Wubbenhorst, is not the first female coach to face a condescending question. When former Sweden women’s team manager Pia Sundhage was asked whether a woman was able to coach a men’s team, she replied: “Well [German chancellor] Angela Merkel runs a whole country.”
The question was further condemnable because Sundhage had already won two Olympic golds as manager of the United States.
BV Cloppenburg’s owners, unlike the journalist in question, are more forward thinking. “It was an easy decision to let go of gender in the evaluation process,” said board member Herbert Schroder. “We only looked at quality.”
Wubbenhorst, 30, was earlier managing the women’s team but the club decided she would be better in helping the relegation-threatened men’s side. Even though the team are still languishing at the bottom of the league, hopefully questions will move on from players’ pants to the players themselves.
In December, Wubbenhorst made history by becoming the first woman to manage in Germany’s fifth tier when she took over at BV Cloppenburg.