Steinhaus is Bundesliga’s first female referee

Bibiana Steinhaus

German police officer Bibiana Steinhaus will make history next season when she becomes the Bundesliga’s first ever female referee.

Steinhaus, the first female professional referee in Germany, has been in charge of games in 2 Bundesliga since 2007.

The 38-year-old has also officiated games at international level since 2005, and was in charge of the 2011 Women’s World Cup, and the women’s gold medal match at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is also due to referee the 2017 Women’s Champions League final between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain on June 1.

And, Steinhaus said she was left speechless when she got the call to inform her of her promotion.

“[Referees chief] Lutz Michael Frohlich and his team are in constant exchange with us referees. That’s why I was not particularly surprised when he called me on Wednesday,” Steinhaus was quoted by FourFourTwo.

“When he informed me in our telephone call about the decision of the referee’s commission, I was quite speechless,” she said.

And, her emotions, she said, were of disbelief, joy, happiness, relief, and curiosity.

“I do not know. It was simply a turbulent roller coaster ride of emotions,” she said.

“It has always been my dream to referee in the Bundesliga. That this dream is to become true now naturally fills me with great joy,” she added.

Steinhaus’ appointment comes 10 years after Deidre Mitchell took charge of a game between Kaizer Chiefs and Santos in South Africa, becoming the first woman in the world to referee a senior men’s league game.