The Bundesliga is about to get its first female referee. This comes after the German football association included Bibiana Steinhaus on its list of match officials for the coming season.
Bibiana Steinhaus is one of four new Bundesliga referees that the presidency of the DFB (German football association) signed off at a meeting at the DFB's headquarters on Friday.
"For every referee, man or woman, refereeing in the Bundesliga is the ultimate goal," Steinhaus was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the DFB's website. "I have worked very hard for this over the years and have suffered a few setbacks. So I am pleased that the referees' commission has placed its trust in me. This shows that in refereeing it is performance that counts," she added.
The 38-year-old Steinhaus, who is a police officer in Hanover, also said that she knew that her performances would be under particular scrutiny among the public, especially early in her first season in the Bundesliga.
"I am used to this pressure and therefore I am convinced that I can quickly establish myself in the Bundesliga."
"Bibiana Steinhaus has been one of the best female referees in the world and by performing consistently at a high level in the second division over the past few seasons, she has proved that she is among the best referees (man or woman) in Germany," said Ronny Zimmermann, the DFB's vice president in responsible for officiating.
Steinhaus has refereed 80 matches in the Bundesliga's second divison over the past decade and has often been the fourth official in Bundesliga matches.
Among the highlights of her career to date are refereeing the final of the women's World Cup in Germany in 2011 and the final of the women's Olympic tournament in London in 2012. She was also a referee at the 2015 women's World Cup in Canada. Steinhaus has been named as the referee of the final of the women's Champions League in Cardiff on June 1.