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Germany’s Steinhaus becomes first female ref in Europe’s top leagues

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Referee Bibiana Steinhaus is pictured during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen on September 10, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP


Germany’s Bibiana Steinhaus made history on Sunday by becoming the first female referee to officiate a match in a top European league.

The 38-year-old police officer became the first woman to ref a top-tier match in the German, English, French, Italian or Spanish leagues when she took charge of Hertha Berlin’s home Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.

Having been named on the official list of Bundesliga referees for 2017/18, Steinhaus sat out the first two rounds of German league matches before making her top-tier debut at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

She has been refereeing since 2007 and officiated the women’s Champions League final this year plus the 2012 women’s Olympic tournament final in London.

Steinhaus had already built up a wealth of experience by refereeing around 80 second division games and was the fourth official on numerous occasions in the German league, but this is her first time refereeing in Germany’s top flight.


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Bibiana Steinhaus

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