The German Football Association has appointed Bibiana Steinhaus as one of the four new referees in the Bundesliga.
The appointment makes Steinhaus the first ever female to referee the competition.
Speaking about the appointment, Steinhaus 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.”
“For us all, it’s a dream come true.”
“I’m very much looking forward to the task that awaits me.”
“For every referee, whether a man or a woman, it is always a big goal to be able to whistle in the Bundesliga.”
Steinhaus, who is also a trained police officer, began her professional refereeing career in 1999, officiating matches in the Women’s Bundesliga. She has since refereed UEFA Women’s Euro 2009, was one of the 16 referees for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and officiated the women’s football gold medal math at the London Olympics in 2012.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel said, “Hopefully the first female referee in the Bundesliga is an incentive for many young girls in this country to try to emulate her.”
Women’s presence in football has been hitting headlines for the last few years. In April, Glasgow City Football Club launched a new kit with an inspiring message. The away kit features the message, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’, with the aim of inspiring the next generation and highlighting the lack of media coverage of women’s sports.
In March, the FA also announced plans to double the number of women in football by 2020. The plan aims to improve the commercial prospects of women’s football, enhance the profile of the England team and increase the number and diversity of female coaches, referees and sport administrators.