67 years ago today, the first international match of the German women’s national football team took place. In Essen, the German women won 2-1 against the Netherlands. The match took place unofficially because the DFB had banned women’s football two years earlier. Clubs organised in the DFB were forbidden to organise matches between women and to provide such pitches, and DFB referees were not allowed to whistle for women’s matches. The reason given was that “this martial art is essentially alien to the nature of women” and that playing it would violate decency and propriety.  

Despite the ban, a proud number of women’s teams developed in the 1950s and played regularly; in 1955 a match in Essen was forcibly cleared. The DFB’s ban strategy was not successful, and in 1956 the German Women’s Football Association was founded, which also hosted the first international match on 21 September 1956. Until 1965, the association organised about 150 unofficial international matches. The ban on women’s football was lifted by the DFB in 1970. However, numerous extra rules applied to women’s games, for example, a match lasted only 70 minutes and cleated shoes were forbidden.