Bibiana Steinhaus

Bibiana Steinhaus (born 24 March 1979) is a German football referee who is based in Langenhagen. She referees for MTV Engelbostel-Schulenburg of the Lower Saxony Football Association. She is a FIFA referee, and is ranked as a UEFA women's elite category referee.

Bibiana Steinhaus
Bibiana Steinhaus.JPG
Steinhaus in 2008
Born (1979-03-24) 24 March 1979 (age 40)
Bad Lauterberg, West Germany
Other occupation Police officer
Years League Role
1999– DFB Referee
1999– Frauen-Bundesliga Referee
2007– 2. Bundesliga Referee
2017– Bundesliga Referee
Years League Role
2005– FIFA listed Referee

Refereeing careerEdit

Steinhaus officiating Birgit Prinz's testimonial match in 2012.

Before becoming a referee like her father, Steinhaus played as a footballer for SV Bad Lauterberg.[1]

Steinhaus became a referee for the club SV Bad Lauterberg and began in the Frauen-Bundesliga after receiving DFB certification in 1999, having taken professional courses since the age of 15.[2] She moved to the Regionalliga in 2001 and was the main referee for the 2003 DFB-Pokal der Frauen Final between 1. FFC Frankfurt and FCR 2001 Duisburg in 2003. Steinhaus began refereeing in the men's 2. Bundesliga in 2007, making her the first female referee in German men's professional football.[2] She was also selected for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, UEFA Women's Euro 2009, and 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.[3] In 2016, she changed her affiliation to MTV Engelbostel-Schulenburg.[citation needed]

Steinhaus was one of the sixteen referees chosen for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where she officiated two group stage matches and the final between Japan and the United States.[4] Steinhaus was selected to officiate the women's football gold medal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, also between Japan and the United States.[5]

On 12 May 2017, Steinhaus was chosen by UEFA as the referee for the 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League Final, played between Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain in Cardiff.[6] One week later, she was promoted by the DFB to officiate in the top-level Bundesliga, for the 2017–18 season, making her the first female referee in the league's history.[7][8] Steinhaus officiated her first Bundesliga match, a 1–1 draw between Hertha BSC and Werder Bremen, on 10 September 2017. Hertha, the hosts, offered promotional half-price "Bibiana tickets" to female fans.[2][9] Steinhaus was named the female referee of the year by DFB in 2018.[10]

Steinhaus has been the target of abuse and controversial incidents on several occasions, including a physical confrontation from Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola while serving as the fourth official in a 2014 match, and an accidental groping of her breast by a player in 2010. Fortuna Düsseldorf's Kerem Demirbay was suspended for five matches by his club after making a sexist comment towards Steinhaus, who had sent him off for a second yellow card.[2][11] IRIB, the state broadcaster of Iran, cancelled their broadcast of a Bundesliga fixture in February 2019 due to Steinhaus being named as its head referee.[12] The television channel had previously broadcast a match officiated by Steinhaus, but cut to crowd shots instead of using the close-up shots of Steinhaus in the normal feed.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Steinhaus lives in Langenhagen, and is a trained police officer with the rank of Chief Inspector.[14] She was in a long-term relationship with English referee Howard Webb, who separated from his wife in 2016.[2][15][16]


  1. ^ "Bibiana Steinhaus - Die Pionierin an der Pfeife" [Bibiana Steinhaus – The pioneer at the whistle]. (in German). Deutsche Welle. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Keh, Andrew (4 November 2017). "The Referee Would Like You to Watch the Game, Not Her". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Schiedsrichterprofil – Bibiana Steinhaus" [Referee profile – Bibiana Steinhaus]. (in German). German Football Association. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Bibiana Steinhaus pfeift Finale der Frauen-WM" (in German). Der Westen. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Women's Football". 9 August 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Bibiana Steinhaus to referee Lyon-Paris final in Cardiff". Union of European Football Associations. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Schiedsrichter-Quartett steigt in die Bundesliga auf" [Referee quartet promoted to the Bundesliga]. (in German). German Football Association. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Bundesliga appoints Bibiana Steinhaus as first female referee". BBC Sport. 19 May 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Delaney kontert Berliner Effizienz" [Delaney counters Berlin's efficiency]. (in German). kicker-sportmagazin. 10 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  10. ^ Penfold, Chuck (20 July 2018). "Felix Brych, Bibiana Steinhaus named Germany's top referees of 2018". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  11. ^ Grez, Matias (6 November 2017). "Bibiana Steinhaus: The Bundesliga referee shattering football's glass ceiling". CNN. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  12. ^ Jones, Timothy (17 February 2019). "Female German referee causes Bundesliga broadcast to be canceled in Iran". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  13. ^ Tamsut, Felix (5 August 2018). "Iranian TV reported to have avoided showing referee Bibiana Steinhaus during Bundesliga match". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  14. ^ Morgan, Tom (10 April 2019). "Bibiana Steinhaus interview: Life as Europe's leading female referee in a male-dominated world". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Bibiana Steinhaus und Howard Webb sind ein Paar - WELT". DIE WELT (in German). Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Die ewig übergangene Bibiana Steinhaus und die Schiri-Legende". (in German). 24 October 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2017.

External linksEdit