German Chancellor Olaf Scholz holds a news conference on energy situation, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 22, 2022. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

There are iconic pictures of Angela Merkel surrounded by sweaty national soccer players in the changing room at the World Cup in Brazil. Will Olaf Scholz visit the catacombs of Wembley Stadium after the women’s European Championship final?

For the Chancellor and his traffic light coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP, the success story fits like a painting with the narrative of the government alliance as a progressive coalition that wants to make some socio-political changes and strengthen the position of women. It started with the parity of men and women in filling ministerial posts in the cabinet – eight to eight.

And so the Chancellor’s communications team also uses the EM for its own political agenda. “It’s 2022. Women and men should be paid equally. This also applies to sport, especially national teams. Spain are ahead of the pack,” the Chancellor tweeted ahead of the opening game against Spain.

DFB director Oliver Bierhoff therefore wants to meet with the SPD politician to discuss it. Scholz has created a certain amount of pressure here, for example there is still a wide gap in the prize money, after all, this time the women were awarded 60,000 euros per player.

National soccer player Lina Magull has also demanded a minimum salary of 2,000 to 3,000 euros a month for all players in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga, so that nobody has to work part-time anymore.

Maybe the Bierhoff/Scholz meeting will work out on Sunday. “Of course we’re invited,” said Bierhoff. After the 2-1 semi-final win over France, the chancellor tweeted: “Congratulations to the

He is looking forward to going to London and supporting the team in their dream final against hosts England at Wembley.

So far, Scholz has not been noticed as a big football fan. Those around him also emphasize that there hasn’t been any excessive interest so far, unlike his chancellor, Wolfgang Schmidt, who plays with a hobby team every Sunday and is a die-hard St. Pauli fan.

But the head of government praises himself as a feminist from the very beginning. In the early days of his political career, he has repeatedly emphasized that he campaigned for equality with the Jusos. And it was important to him to set up a cabinet with equal representation for the first time in German history. In this respect, the story of the self-confident and also successful young women on the soccer field fits into the Chancellor’s political concept – and he himself wants to benefit from their success by showing interest and closeness.

In times of crisis, football has often been an important glue in society, which was most evident in the 1954 World Cup triumph in the post-war period. When Scholz recently announced further help for German citizens because of the dramatically increasing energy costs, he suddenly said a sentence that almost everyone knows from the Liverpool FC anthem and with which Scholz wants to strengthen social cohesion in difficult times: “You’ll never walk alone.” But will he frenetically cheer for German goals like Merkel once did? It doesn’t really suit his Hanseatic mentality.

Minister of the Interior and Sport Nancy Faeser (SPD) was also present at the semifinals in England, and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) also wants to travel to the final. “Hope to see you at Wembley,” Baerbock tweeted to her British counterpart Liz Truss, who is also running to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Family Minister Lisa Paus also praised the players as “rousing role models” for equal opportunities and rights for men and women. The Greens politician’s department is responsible for families, senior citizens, women and youth.

The players of the DFB-Elf had rendered a “terrific performance”, Paus told the Tagesspiegel, congratulating her “on the well-deserved place in the final”. With their passion, their skills and their team spirit, they are great inspiration and inspiring role models. “And we need role models – for equal opportunities and rights for women and men – whether in sports, at work or in everyday life.”

Alluding to the political efforts to ensure equal pay for men and women, she added: “With fair play you get the title and with equal pay you get more equality!” There she is in line with Scholz and other traffic light coalition partners.

In any case, the political reactions show that many in the capital are very happy that there are positive moments and new role models – that’s why the chancellor even interrupted his vacation in the Allgäu for the women’s final against England.