Steinhaus to become Bundesliga's first female referee


Steinhaus says she aims "to make female referees a normal part of professional football and show simply that they belong in the game".

She has also worked in the second division of the Bundesliga for a decade.

The German FA (DFB) announced on Friday that Bibiana Steinhaus is set to become the Bundesliga's first ever female referee starting next season. Though it's an enormous honor and a terrific story, Steinhaus doesn't want her first season in the Bundesliga to be judged exclusively on the basis of her being female.

Her role as a police officer means Steinhaus is well used to giving clear instructions in a no-nonsense manner.

"It has always been my dream to referee in the Bundesliga". While 79 of those games went off without a hitch, there was one that caused stir when a player Steinhaus sent off for his second yellow card angrily told her, "Women have no place in men's football". Steinhaus coolly brushed him off, while German media heavily criticized the Spaniard, who now manages Manchester City.

Steinhaus also confronted sexism the year prior while she was assisting during a Bundesliga bout between Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Since 2011, Steinhaus has served in Bundesliga 2 matches and also officiated the US women's national team vs Japan in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match.

"Hopefully the first referee in the Bundesliga is an incentive for many young girls in our country to emulate her".

She said: "I am very much looking forward to the task that awaits me".