Bernd Neuendorf emphasized his voice, and the president's message was clearer than ever before: In order not to thwart the immense efforts of the German Football Association (DFB) to promote women, the threat of a TV blackout at the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (20 July to 20 August) must be averted at all costs.

"Everyone has to pull themselves together. Everyone has to ask themselves whether they are living up to their political responsibility in the interests of women's football and society," Neuendorf said on Wednesday: "Everyone has to ask themselves what the consequences would be if there is no understanding. It would be a loss of image for everyone involved."

"Do everything in my power"

FIFA has not yet reached an agreement with the TV broadcasters from the five major European nations on the allocation of rights for the World Cup finals. FIFA President Gianni Infantino accuses the interested parties of not offering enough and threatens a blackout. Critics, on the other hand, accuse FIFA of greed for money under the guise of gender equality.

According to F.A.Z. information, the offer of ARD and ZDF is around five million euros, the world association allegedly wants ten million. "We have reached a point where it is no longer just about sums," Neuendorf said: "We have to take the debate on a different level." As a member of the FIFA Council, Neuendorf wants to work for a solution: "I do everything in my power."

"Have reached society"

The DFB sees itself on the right track when it comes to promoting women. "Women's football has arrived in the minds of decision-makers as well as in the hearts of the people," said Secretary General Heike Ullrich in the interim conclusion of the "Women in Football FF 27 Strategy" presented ten months ago: "We have reached society."

Specifically, the strategy is based on four goals until 2027: The national teams and the clubs should win international titles. The number of players, coaches and referees is to increase by 25 percent. The media reach of women's football is to be doubled. The proportion of women in committees and management levels should be at least 30 percent. In all these areas, the association is making progress thanks to various projects.

"We were able to take the momentum from second place at last year's European Championships," said overall coordinator Doris Fitschen Fitschen: "We have currently cracked the 35,000 spectator mark for the cup final. The national team has had an average attendance of over 26,000 in the past three games – and from next season onwards, the Bundesliga will be visible worldwide through international marketing."

The DFB wants to present its achievements worldwide at the 2027 World Cup, which it wants to host together with Belgium and the Netherlands. "We are all aware of the importance and the opportunity," said Neuendorf: "That's why we're taking a very focused approach."

The European bid has three competitors. South Africa, Brazil and the USA, together with Mexico, also want to host the finals. The application must be submitted to the world federation by 8 December. The FIFA Congress will decide on 17 May 2024.