Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler whistle at the men’s handball world championship

Kuttler and Merz said they were “a little surprised” to be whistling at the men’s world tournament.
Bild: picture alliance / foto2press

Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler are the first female referees at a men’s world championship in handball – finally. But the chance to trump football was missed.

BIn handball, they like to present themselves as an alternative to relatives playing football, especially when a World Cup is coming up. That’s not really credible, for example because the handball players have long since passed their World Cup in Qatar. The interview that the German referees Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler gave to “Mannheimer Morgen” before they set off for the World Cup leaves a clear picture of the traditional gender image in the sports halls.

They are “a little surprised” to be the first women to whistle at the men’s world tournament. “We just couldn’t imagine that women would be considered for a men’s World Cup,” said Merz. After all, the nomination of the French colleagues was “repeatedly” ignored.

The world association IHF missed its chance to outdo the competition from FIFA. Stéphanie Frappart was the first woman to take part in a men’s World Cup in November. In handball, Maike Merz and Tanja Kuttler, just four years ago the first women’s team in the men’s Bundesliga, refereed the game between Uruguay and Cape Verde on Thursday. Finally.


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