On Thursday 26 November 2009, some 577 days ahead of the first FIFA Women’s World Cup on German soil, German FA (DFB) Director of Sport Matthias Sammer (42) and actor Stephanie Stumph (25) took up their duties as ambassadors for the city of Dresden. The pair will act as an instantly-recognisable front duo in the campaign to stoke up regional enthusiasm and anticipation for the 2011 finals in the most easterly of the host cities, which is also one of the four venues for next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The 'ambassadorial couple' were officially unveiled at the OC Countdown event at the Rudolf-Harbig Stadium in Dresden.
Dresden-born Sammer took up his current position with the DFB in April 2006. He earned 74 senior caps for Germany between 1986 and 1997, including 23 for the GDR. Sammer was a member of the Germany team which triumphed at EURO 1996. The same year he was chosen Chosen European Footballer of the Year. His major honours at club level include winner’s medals from the 1997 Champions League and Intercontinental Cup with Borussia Dortmund. Sammer won the Bundesliga title three times – 1991-2 with Stuttgart, and 1994-5 and 1995-6 with Dortmund - after previously winning the GDR championship in 1988-9 and 1989-90 with Dynamo Dresden. He entered the Bundesliga history books in 2001-2 after guiding Borussia Dortmund to the title, becoming the youngest coach to achieve the feat.
Stephanie Stumph rates as one of Germany’s most talented actors. She has appeared in the popular ZDF TV detective series Stubbe – Von Fall zu Fall alongside her real-life father Wolfgang Stumph since 1995, nowadays as his grown-up screen daughter Christiane. Herself a native of Dresden, she is deeply committed to social projects, including an ambassadorial role for the José Carreras Leukaemia Foundation.
“I’m thrilled at the appointments of Stephanie Stumph and Matthias Sammer as ambassadors for Dresden. They are very special personalities who will represent the Women’s World Cup in a very special manner. Both are much-loved figures and role models, both are popular in the region, and both are well-equipped to convey our message to a wide variety of social groups. This is definitely a very good call for Dresden,” commented OC President Steffi Jones at Stumph and Sammer’s unveiling.
“Women’s football boasts huge potential, underlined by the fact the DFB has more than a million female members. Our goal is for girls’ and women’s football to continue booming way beyond 2011. I’m delighted to take up the role of ambassador, especially given my close ties with Dresden,” Sammer remarked.
“Both the Women’s World Cup 2011 and the U-20 Women’s World Cup 2010 provide unique platforms to present Dresden as a warm, friendly and cosmopolitan host city. I’m certain our city won’t pass up the chance,” added Stumph.
Each of the nine FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 host cities will be represented by an ‘ambassadorial couple’. The names revealed to date are: Franziska van Almsick and Hansi Flick for Sinsheim, Dunja Hayali and Rainer Bonhof for Monchengladbach, Shary Reeves and Dariusz Wosz for Bochum, Britta Carlson and Roy Praeger for Wolfsburg, Britta Heidemann and Bernd Schneider for Leverkusen, Sandra Smisek and Charly Koerbel for Frankfurt, and Magdalena Neuner and Karl-Heinz Riedle for Augsburg. Former Germany international Kerstin Stegemann and TV presenter Oliver Welke are representing U-20 Women’s World Cup venue Bielefeld. US star Mia Hamm is the international ambassador of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.