What language do professional football teams speak

There are 11 women in one team

There are beautiful football days to be seen on television. At the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019, female soccer players from 24 countries will fight for victory, honor and the trophy. ARD and ZDF go to great lengths and have almost as many men and women for professional reporting. Everything alright. If only there wasn't that stupid word “team”.


About the masculine at the World Cup

A team that consists only of women is wrong in terms of content: a team. No man far and wide, so not with the players and only they run across the football field. Saying “womanhood” instead sounds weird, or are we just not used to it? The Duden knows the word and defines women as a “team consisting of female members”. Ah! This is where the word “team” comes into play. An alternative to the “team”, which the Duden obviously favors.

But the word “team” can be heard over and over again in the hours surrounding the television broadcast of the Women's World Cup. It has become so deeply embedded in the football wording that it - zack - slips over your lips. Is that bad? Nope, but the skewed image of language is noticeable once the senses for gender-equitable language are sharpened.

Claudia Neumann (ZDF), who has prevailed as a television commentator in men's football, often uses the team, Stefanie Baszyk (ARD) says it seldom and Bernd Schmelzer (ARD), so my observation, has it in the preliminary round game Jamaica - Italy completely avoided. He spoke of the team and the players or named them by nationality; he called the goalkeeper “keeper” for a change. So it works.

But hats off to the performance of the commentators. That has to happen spontaneously and quickly and when the word team is used again, there is no hard work. But over time and with the success of women's football in the media, I wish that the “team” should disappear from the vocabulary. But what then? I honestly ask myself that too. We all know the term team, but it is an Anglicism and women are not a real alternative. Or could we get used to it, like the “clerk”? Oh, this “team” is really a dilemma.

I find the use of language more difficult by the players and their trainer Martina Voss-Tecklenburg. They stay in the style of men's football, talking about the team, opponents and winners, although they surround themselves with women all day long during competition. Almuth Schult, who can speak very well, then promptly describes her colleagues and herself as “goalkeepers” in a press conference. Will that change? Let's stay on the ball!


Text alternatives:

Germany's soccer women | the German team | Team | Players