Bibiana Steinhaus creates more history as Supercup referee
Trailblazing referee Bibiana Steinhaus became the first woman to oversee the DFL Supercup when she took charge of Wednesday's prestigious meeting of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
While it marked another milestone in a memorable career, Steinhaus confirmed before kick-off that this was her final game before retiring as a national and international match official.
The 41-year-old police officer created history in Germany in September 2017 when she became the first female referee to officiate in the men’s top flight.
Steinhaus took another stride for equality on Wednesday, however, after being appointed for the clash between last season’s treble winners and the 2019/20 Bundesliga runners-up.
Watch: Check out Steinhaus' brilliant judgement
Since taking charge of Hertha Berlin's 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen three years ago, Steinhaus has been in the middle for 23 Bundesliga matches over the past three seasons. This was the first time, however, that she looked after both a men’s cup final and a match involving Dortmund.
Bayern, meanwhile, have played in four league and cup matches that Steinhaus has been involved in, including their 2-0 home win over Augsburg in March of this year.
Another female referee, Stephanie Frappart, has broken similar ground by officiating top-flight men's games in France since 2019 as well as last year's UEFA Super Cup final. Speaking last year, Steinhaus suggested that such examples will become more and more widespread.
"I think we've shown that it isn't a question of gender when it comes to whether you can be an active referee or not," she told the Phrasenmäher podcast. "It's about quality of performance and performance aspirations.
"I think it's very accepted, and the fact that it's not getting any special attention is the biggest compliment. We've shown in Germany that it works, and I would say the Bundesliga is the groundbreaker. They've taken it upon themselves to be as open and diverse as our football is."
The first female referee in the men's Bundesliga is also one of the top officials in the women's game, having been to three FIFA World Cups. Steinhaus previously took charge of the gold medal match between the United States and Japan at the 2012 Summer Olympics as well as the 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League final.
"I'm a Bundesliga referee because my performances have been good enough - not because I'm a woman," Steinhaus told the Hertha Berlin website in 2018.
"That's a big difference. If because of that I am considered a role model for young girls or a pioneer for equality, then that makes me even happier."
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