First female referee in Europe’s top leagues

A 38-year-old German policewoman will next season become the first female referee in Europe’s top leagues after she was promoted to officiate in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Bibiana Steinhaus has previously been a fourth official for Bundesliga matches and although a German FA (DFB) referee since 1999, she knows the spotlight will be on her when she takes charge of a top-flight game.

“For every referee, whether a man or a woman, it is always a big goal to be able to whistle in the Bundesliga,” she told DFB.de.

Steinhaus, girlfriend of Englishman Howard Webb, 45, who refereed the 2010 World Cup final, said: “I have worked very hard for this in the last few years and suffered a few set-backs.

“I was quite speechless when I got the call. On one hand it was confirmation after all the hard work, but also a great incentive to keep working.

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