BERLIN: Reinhard Grindel, the president of the German Football Federation, said on Sunday that the sport needs to put more women in positions of power.
“For the future viability of the clubs, it is essential to involve women in positions of responsibility,” Grindel told the Welt-am-Sonntag newspaper.
Responding to suggestions by the newspaper that women were under-represented in German football leadership, Grindel said there was a wider problem.
“It’s not just a challenge for football, but also in many other areas of society and organisations, the diversity of our society is only slightly represented by those who hold positions of power”, Grindel said.
Grindel, a former member of the Bundestag in Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, made headlines last summer for his handling of a controversy involving Mesut Ozil, who is of Turkish descent.
The midfielder had drawn criticism by posing with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan before last year’s World Cup and then played poorly in a German team that was eliminated at the group stages of the tournament.
Ozil defended himself by saying: “In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose”.