The women of VfL Wolfsburg have won both of Germany's major football titles in a single year, but management has stopped them from holding a victory celebration. Why? Because the men's team is doing poorly.
By any measure, the women's side of VfL Wolfsburg has been one of the most successful soccer teams in Germany for years. A regular fixture at the top of the league table for the better part of a decade, they even became the first German team to ever defend a Champions League title in 2014.
On Saturday, the "she-wolves," as they are known in German, unlocked yet another achievement by clinching the German Cup for the third year in a row with two goals from Danish national player Pernille Harder. When paired with their topping of the Bundesliga this season, it amounts to the coveted "double crown" of German football.
But instead of the parades, festivities and pomp associated with such a string of victories, the women of Wolfsburg have been banned from celebrating their triumph until September. And why? Because on Monday, the men's team is fighting for survival in the Bundesliga in a relegation play-off match against Eintracht Braunschweig.
"In fact, it is already a standing tradition that the she-wolves be welcomed at city hall by Mayor Klaus Mohrs and then celebrate their successful season with the fans," said a statement from VfL Wolfsburg Managing Director Tim Schumacher on the team's Facebook page. "However, all of VfL is naturally focused on the relegation fight, which is why the…party for the women's team is not going to take place until the start of next season."
According to Berlin daily Tagesspiegel, there could be another equaly sinister reason behind the postponed party. Their report on the controversy alleges that Wolfsburg's top brass, instead of being in Cologne on Saturday to watch their women soar to victory over rivals SC Sand, were in fact in Berlin watching the men's cup final between Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund.
The Wolfsburg hierarchy "would rather watch tight gold dresses" and pop star Helene Fischer instead of their own team, Tagesspiel's Ann-Kathrin Hipp wrote, referencing the controversial half-time entertainment at the German Cup final in Berlin.
"It's in these moments you make your priorities clear."