Monday 23 April 2018

History beckons as first female referee to take charge of Bundesliga match this weekend

Referee Bibiana Steinhaus
Referee Bibiana Steinhaus

Bibiana Steinhaus will this weekend become the first woman to referee a Bundesliga match, the German football federation has announced.

The 38-year-old police officer will make history by taking charge of the clash between Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen at the Olympiastadion on Sunday.

In a statement announcing the news on the Deutsche Fussball-Bund (DFB) official website on Thursday, Steinhaus said: "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 me is finally going to happen on Sunday. We are definitely very well prepared."

Steinhaus, who has refereed the Women's World Cup and Champions League finals, has officiated at games in the German second tier since 2007.

Bremen boss Alexander Nouri told his club's website: "She has earned this through very good performances.

"I have great respect for what she has done, and it is great that she referees on Sunday."

In 2015, Kerem Demirbay - the Hoffenheim midfielder who was then playing for Fortuna Dusseldorf - was handed a five-week suspension by the DFB having reportedly told Steinhaus that "women have no place in men's football" after she sent him off in a match played in the 2. Bundesliga.

After the second-tier match, Demirbay apologised to Steinhaus for his remarks, and he also went on to referee a junior girls' game.

Last year it was reported that Steinhaus was in a relationship with former English referee Howard Webb, who took charge of the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Holland.

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