01 October 2020

History-making referee Bibiana Steinhaus announces retirement

Pioneering referee Bibiana Steinhaus has announced her retirement after creating more history last night as the first female referee to take charge of a DFL Supercup.

Steinhaus, 41, first made history back in 2017 when she became the first female referee to take charge of a match in the Bundesliga, the men’s top flight in Germany. 

She went on to officiate at 23 Bundesliga matches over three seasons.

Steinhaus said prior to last night’s match: “Like many people during the corona situation, I have reflected and reassessed some things. 

"After a very truthful and constructive conversation with Lutz Michael Fröhlich, the sporting director of the DFB-Elite Referees, after carefully weighing many factors, I have decided to end my national and international career as referee. For this evening, I want the focus to be entirely on the game. I will discuss the reasons for my retirement in somewhat greater detail in due time.”

She was a referee in three Women’s World Cups as well as taking charge of the Women’s Champions League final in 2017.

Steinhaus was also the referee for the final in the 2012 London Olympic Games where the US claimed the gold medal after beating Japan 2-1.

And Fritz Keller, the president of the DFB (German Football Association), said in a statement: “I regret the premature retirement of Bibiana Steinhaus very much. In the future, German football will not only have to go without an outstanding referee, but also is losing an extraordinary personality and pioneer in a men’s domain. 

"I hope very much, nonetheless, that many other female referees will enrich both professional and amateur football. Bibiana Steinhaus will remain a role-model. I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for this extraordinary achievement as well as for her athletic successes.”

The match last night was Steinhaus’ last and it was played between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund where Munich defeated Dortmund 3-2.

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