Controversy over the “mother” of the women’s national ice hockey team

Olympic Games

Before the medal match: Daniela Diaz, mother of the Swiss women’s ice hockey team, leaves the federation out of frustration

Medal ready for the women’s national ice hockey team – but women’s sports director Daniela Diaz is leaving the federation. Seemingly frustrated by the unbearable situation.

The women’s ice hockey team plays for the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Li Zhiheng / Zuma

If we want to illustrate the importance of women in our hockey game, we can do so with a staff travesty in the association: Daniela Diaz, 39, was appointed as the women’s sports director in spring 2019 by then-association sporting director Raito Ravener.

Now she has resigned. Seemingly frustrated by the unbearable situation. Anyway, Today’s Sports Director Lars Weibel responds to a similar question, saying the reason for the breakup is different ideas about their job.

Former coach, then women's sports director: Daniela Diaz.

Former coach, then women’s sports director: Daniela Diaz.

Photo: Nadia Charlie

Swiss women’s hockey prodigy engineer

It is unclear whether the position will be filled again. With the passing of Rafael Diaz’s sister, the women became hockey orphans. They lost their mother, so to speak. They don’t have a father in the spacious association offices anyway. Daniela Diaz is the Swiss women’s hockey prodigy engineer. The former national player has been involved at all levels, sometimes as a national coach.

The biggest stage for marginal sports like women’s ice hockey is the Olympics. It is now clear in Beijing that for the third time after Sochi (2014) and South Korea (2018), women are doing better than men in all respects. They won the bronze medal in Sochi, reached the quarter-finals in South Korea and will play the bronze in Beijing on Wednesday during prime time (12:30 pm). The men failed miserably in the round of 16 in 2014 and 2018.

In 2014, the women's national ice hockey team won the bronze medal in Sochi.

In 2014, the women’s national ice hockey team won the bronze medal in Sochi.

Laurent Gillieron / Keystone

In no other discipline in our sport, little is made like women’s ice hockey. Canada has 101,879 licensed players. Switzerland 2011. Canada has conceded only three goals against European teams three times in Olympic history (since 1998): against Sweden in 1998, against Finland in 2002, and now against Switzerland in the semi-finals. National coach Colin Muller is on the verge of winning a medal with the youngest team in the tournament. If there’s ever been a Team of the Year, it’s the Women’s Hockey Team.

But this marvel is on thin ice with just over 1,000 licensed players. Colin Mueller says he doesn’t know how things will play out after Beijing. If two or three experienced players quit, start over. “I don’t know if I will continue at that time.”

Hardly any investment in women’s hockey

The association shamefully hides how little investment is in women’s hockey, which has an annual turnover of 75 million and personnel expenditures of 12 million. It must be less than a million. But the lack of political support for hockey carries much more weight. “It would be a huge step forward if every club were required to have a women’s section,” says Colin Muller. The corresponding regulation will be possible and feasible without any problems. But only ZSC Lions and Lugano have specifically invested in women’s hockey for years.

Our hockey misses a great opportunity. With short distances, high quality of life, excellent sports infrastructure and educational opportunities, we can build the best women’s league in Europe in a short period of time. The Swiss women will be the leading European team in all title fights.

The truth looks different. The top women’s league consists of only six teams. The ZSC titans Lions and Lugano dominate hockey romantics from Thun, Neuch√Ętel, Thurgau and Reinach at will. Zurich is 52 points ahead of bottom club Reinach. And the federation’s sports director, Lars Weibel, was not even sure he could take the position for Daniela Diaz.

With equal rights and advancement of women, sport can score points at all levels. It is amazing that the advertising partners of the federation are not demanding that part of their money be invested in women’s hockey. All in all, we are dealing with the greatest sporting, political, and economic folly in the history of hockey.

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