I pick my team based on penis size, German first men’s team woman coach responds to journalist
Imke Wuebbenhorst, a former Under-20 midfielder, was appointed head coach of the men's side at BV Cloppenburg, has a brutally sarcastic response to a journalist with a sexist question.
FOOTBALL | The first woman to coach a men’s football team in one of Germany’s top five leagues hit back at a sexist question by sarcastically suggesting her selections are based on penis length.
Imke Wuebbenhorst, a former Under-20 midfielder, was appointed head coach of the men’s side at BV Cloppenburg, who currently sit bottom of the Lower Saxony Oberliga in the fifth tier of German football.
During a press conference a reporter asked her whether she had to wear a siren so that players knew when she was about to walk into their dressing room.
The 30-year-old immediately replied: “Of course not, I am a professional – I base my selections on penis length.”
As a player, Wuebbenhorst twice won the European title with Germany’s Under-19 team and played in the women’s Bundesliga for Hamburg.
She then moved to BV Cloppenburg, where she eventually began coaching the women’s team in 2016. She refuses to see herself as a pioneer for other women.
“The topic bounces off me. I want to be judged on performances, not on whether I’m a woman or a man,” she told Cloppenburg’s website.
“I don’t have a problem commanding authority – I’m a teacher.”
The presence of a female head coach in Germany’s lower leagues has attracted plenty of media attention, but Wuebbenhorst is focused solely on the task in hand.
“We only have 12 games left to stay in the league. It’s going to be a tough job,” she said.
“Several of my peers have described my new task as a suicide mission, and asked me why I do such a thing, but other clubs are not exactly lining up for me.
“The only fear I have is that a relegation would be blamed on the fact that I am a woman.”
Wubbenhorst, who is former German youth international, is not the first female coach to face condescending or sexist questions.
When former Sweden women’s team manager Pia Sundhage was asked in 2014 whether a woman was able to coach a men’s team, she replied: “Well [German chancellor] Angela Merkel runs a whole country.”
Sundhage had already won two Olympic golds as manager of the United States.
Fortunately, Cloppenburg’s owners 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, had been in charge of Cloppenburg’s women’s team but the club decided she would be better placed helping the relegation-threatened men’s side.
The team are still bottom of the league, but hopefully questions will be posed about players rather than their pants as she tries to drag her team up the table.