September 8 – Bibiana Steinhaus has been announced as the referee for the game between Werder Bremen and Hertha Berlin on Sunday. She will be the first female referee to officiate in the Bundesliga.
Steinhaus was appointed to the Bundesliga roster in May and is no stranger to officiating men’s games after having officiated in Bundesliga 2 since 2007 and having officiated in the German Cup.
Steinhaus has also officiated at the highest levels of Women’s football, including taking charge of the Women’s Champions League final and officiating at the Women’s Euro 2017.
Steinhaus commented on the appointment saying, “My anticipation for the first game in the Bundesliga is, of course, very great. I am delighted that this great challenge for my team and I is finally going on Sunday. We are definitely very well prepared.”
Of her role as a pioneer for female referees she said: “I am aware that I will be the first female referee in the Bundesliga and will be closely watched by the media and the public. I am used to this pressure and am convinced I will find my feet quickly.”
Steinhaus has a second career as a police officer (something she shares with her boyfriend, English referee Howard Webb) and has compared the two roles saying both are about “making and communicating decisions.”
She also wrote that in both roles “you have to acquire expertise, internalise it and use it in accordance with the law and make decisions.”
On the changing status of women amongst referees, Steinhaus said: “Of the 80,000 referees in Germany, 3,000 are now women. Only a few years ago, there were half that many. I wish many girls and young women would also follow the path to becoming referees. I can only say that becoming a referee has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life.”
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