Nadine Keßler, Volkswagen, Milton Keynes

World Champion Talk: Joint Statement For Equality

World Champion Talk: Joint Statement For Equality

While the German national team is inspiring the sporting world at UEFA Women's EURO 2022™, Volkswagen is also receiving lots of positive reactions for its bold and provocative statement 'Women play football. #NotWomensFootball', which advocates equality in football. As part of the campaign, Volkswagen invited guests to a panel discussion in Milton Keynes, England, on the topic of "Equality and Diversity in and through Sport". Guests included ex-professionals Nadine Keßler and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Keßler immediately praised Volkswagen's efforts to highlight existing inequalities in football: "The campaign is great and an important sign for equality," said the former world footballer, who now works as head of Uefa's women's football department.




Keßler was also impressed by the excitement surrounding the tournament in England: "We are investing a lot in women's football, and what we are seeing at the European Championship here in England is a different level in terms of media interest and spectators compared to previous tournaments."

The next step, however, according to Keßler, is to build a sustainable base, because reservations about women's football still exist: "It's not easy to play a sport when you're constantly exposed to prejudice and comparisons." Keßler stressed that as a female footballer you have to accept that you don't get everything handed to you on a silver platter and sometimes you have to be a bit louder to make your opinion known. "We are aware of our mission and look not only at the sporting results, but also at our mission to fight for equality."

Schweinsteiger demands salary adjustments

Bastian Schweinsteiger also praised the good work and the positive development that has already been made in women's football in recent years. The 2014 World Cup winner showed understanding for the demand for equal salaries for men and women in football: "Something has to change. Players in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga have to earn salaries they can live on. But that can only happen step by step when visibility grows and TV and sponsorship revenues increase."

To raise the status of the women's Bundesliga, Schweinsteiger would like to see "all Bundesliga football clubs invest in women's teams" so that the gap to the top teams VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern Munich can be reduced.


Corinna Griese, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Nadine Keßler, Michael Gunning, Beat Wehrle
Please be aware of the standard corona regulations.
Corinna Griese, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Nadine Keßler, Michael Gunning and Beat Wehrle (from left) had a lot to talk about in Milton Keynes.


Professional swimmer Michael Gunning also wants the discussion to continue: "Women's football is getting a lot more attention now, but this cannot be a one-off thing. We have to keep talking about equality, that's the only way change can happen."

Corinna Griese, member of the LGBTIQ* and friends network #WeDriveProud at Volkswagen and CEO of the football department at Eintracht Braunschweig, is convinced that women in football have a role model function. "In terms of equality and tolerance, we are clearly ahead of the men in women's football. Women, even from the national team, have come out and many are even married to their partners." She demanded that the structures in men's football change: "The problem is often not the players at all, but rather the managers or advisors who advise against coming out."

Women play football. #NotWomensFootball

UEFA Women's EURO 2022™

Women play football. #NotWomensFootball

UEFA Women's EURO 2022™

UEFA Women’s EURO 2022™: Women play football. #NotWomensFootball

Europe is looking for new heroines! As part of #NotWomensFootball, we'll be reporting live from England about UEFA Women's EURO 2022™, plus exciting stories and documentaries about inspiring women who are changing football.