Women's football in Germany
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (February 2009)|
Women in Germany have been playing football since the turn of the 18th century, but females playing sports were frowned upon by the general population and citizens. The "Sports Girl" did not come into fashion until the 1920s when women started to form their own clubs. In 1955 the German Football Association declared that they would not permit women into the association stating that women were frail and unable to perform in the sport without injurying themselves. During the 1960s there was discussion about setting up a Woman's Football Association, but it never panned out.
The DFB finally officially allowed women players on October 30, 1970, but there were modifications to the rules. Firstly, woman were only allowed to play in warm weather. Secondly, football boots with studs were banned and the ball was smaller and lighter. Lastly, the length of a match was reduced to seventy minutes.
The women's national team (coached by Gero Bisanz) played its first game on November 10, 1982 against Switzerland. Germany won the match 5–1. Two players who scored in the game would eventually become coaches for the national team.
In 1989 West Germany hosted the 1989 European Competition for Women's Football. The German team beat the Italian team on a penalty shoot-off. This was the first woman's football game broadcast live in Germany. On July 2, 1989 the German team beat the favored Norway team 4-1 in front of 23,000 spectators. This was an attendece record for a German women's team that would last until May 24, 2008 when 27,460 spectators watched 1. FFC Frankfurt defeat Umeå IK 3–2 in the UEFA Women's Cup.
As a result of the national team's success in the 1989 European Competition, on 1990 the DFB founded the first women's Bundesliga with twenty teams divided into two groups, a Northern Conference and a Southern Conference. The Bundesliga was reduced to a single league of twelve teams in 1997, Yet, with the growing strength of Regionalliga compared to the Budesliga the DFB founded Second Bundesliga in 2004. The Second Bundesliga contained twenty-four teams divided into two groups.
The Germany women's national football team, organised by the DFB, are the only women's team ever to have successfully defended the FIFA Women's World Cup, winning in 2003 under past coach Tina Theune-Meyer and 2007 under current coach Silvia Neid. They have also won the last six UEFA Women's Championships (1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013).
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