Bibiana Steinhaus, Germany
If football has been traditionally known as a male dominated sport, then the world of football officiating has been REALLY male dominated. One of the names bucking that trend is Bibiana Steinhaus. The German referee was the first female of officiate in the Bundesliga when she took charge of Werder Bremen’s trip to Hertha Berlin in September 2017, the culmination of years of toil. Having initially taken the whistle in 1999, she has enjoyed almost two decades of progression within the game. From the lower echelons of German football, she has now taken charge of some of the biggest games on the planet. The road has not been easy. She has had to contend with outright sexism within the German game but has swept it aside with a steely professionalism and an element of cutting humour.
– Steinhaus is a trained police officer having risen to the rank of Chief Inspector.
– She became the first woman to officiate in men’s German professional football when she appeared in the 2. Bundesliga in 2007.
– She famously brushed aside Pep Guardiola during his time at Bayern Munich when he put his arm on her shoulder as she was fulfilling fourth official duties in a match against Borussia Monchengladbach.
Did you know…
Steinhaus has completed an impressive triple of refereeing the Women’s World Cup final, Olympic final, and Champions League final.
“It’s such a great honour to be the role model. The opportunities are there, the sport is there, the federation supports female officials in sport, you have every opportunity, go out there and grab it.” – Bibiana Steinhaus
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