Handball: Black criticism of referees causes excitement

Black criticism of referees causes excitement

Reacts calmly to the criticism of the use of referees at the men's World Cup: Maike Merz (M).  Photo: Uwe Anspach/dpa

Reacts calmly to the criticism of the use of referees at the men’s World Cup: Maike Merz (M). photo

© Uwe Anspach/dpa

Female referees are also on duty at the Men’s Handball World Championship. Ex-national player Christian Schwarzer criticizes this – and reaps fierce opposition.

Officials and players shake their heads, those affected are calm: with his fundamental criticism of the use of female referees at the men’s World Cup, the former handballNational player Christian Schwarzer rebuffed.

“I regret that such a great national player got so wrong. The statements are out of time and out of place,” said DHB President Andreas Michelmann. “That women have such a job as the referee at a menTaking over the World Cup should be a matter of course.”

The German World Cup referees Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler left Schwarzers Statements, however, cold. “Everyone has the right to express their opinion freely. Of course they can do that too. I don’t think we have to say more about it,” said Merz in an ARD interview.

Schwarzer irritated with statements

The 2007 world champion had said in the podcast “Enlightening by Blacky Schwarzer” about the use of several referees at the World Cup finals in Poland and Sweden: “I have no idea how the idea came about Women to let the men whistle.” And further: “I wouldn’t have done it because they can whistle for the women, and the men whistle for the men.”

It’s always “more difficult for us when women whistle,” said the 53-year-old. “I feel like I don’t like it that much, and I know it from many others, whether they’re fellow coaches or players who aren’t that enthusiastic about it either.”

disagreed DHB-Captain Johannes Golla vigorously. “For me personally, it doesn’t really make any difference who officiates or whistles the games,” said the 25-year-old. “It’s always very pleasant to communicate with female referees on the pitch. They treat the players with great respect. That’s what you want from every team of referees.”

The two sisters Merz and Kuttler have been DHB elite referees for many years, regularly referee in the men’s Bundesliga and are now taking part in a men’s World Cup for the first time. “The nice thing is that we don’t see any differences at all, both in the Bundesliga and internationally on the record. We feel fully accepted. We always have the feeling that we have a good connection to the players and coaches and that there really aren’t any It matters who is whistling,” said Kuttler.

She notices that in everyday league life, and it was the same during her first World Cup appearance last Thursday between Cape Verde and Uruguay. “Handball shows that it has arrived in the current century and gives everyone the same opportunities and rights. That’s what we feel,” added Kuttler.

World Cup referees react calmly

“Tanja Kuttler, Maike Merz and all those around them, who made this possible, deserve my respect. These two referees are role models for how top-class sport and family can be combined,” praised Michelmann. He sees the use of female referees in men’s handball as the most normal thing in the world. He could therefore not understand Schwarzer’s criticism.

DHB sports director Axel Kromer also expressed his incomprehension: “I think most people here know that Christian Schwarzer and I have not often agreed in recent years. That continues today,” said Kromer on Saturday in Katowice and emphasized: “We have had female referees of the very highest level for years.”

Jennifer Kettemann, Managing Director of Rhein-Neckar Löwen and member of the Executive Committee of the Handball Bundesliga, also criticized Schwarzer’s statements. “As I like to emphasize again and again: what matters is performance. Factors such as gender or origin should no longer be relevant, especially in our enlightened world,” said Kettemann of “Mannheimer Morgen” and added: “It’s a shame, that we still have to talk about it today.”


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