Bibiana Steinhaus will be the first woman ever to referee in the German top flight after the German Football Association (DFB) named her on the list of referees for the 2017-18 Bundesliga season.
Bundesliga confirmed the news on Friday:
Bundesliga English @Bundesliga_EN
Bibiana #Steinhaus will be the first woman ever to officiate in the #Bundesliga next season - congratulations! https://t.co/sgMxOEdYB82017-5-19 12:09:57
"When Lutz Michael Frohlich [the head of German referees] informed me, I was quite speechless," said Steinhaus, per the DFB website (via Bundesliga.com).
"I feel disbelief, joy, happiness, relief, curiosity—it was simply a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It has always been my dream to be a Bundesliga referee. That this dream will come true naturally fills me with joy. On one hand it is confirmation of my hard work, and on the other hand it is a great incentive to continue to work hard," she added.
Steinhaus, 38, has officiated in Bundesliga 2 since 2011.
Also a police officer, she has international experience at the highest level having refereed the final of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and the women's gold-medal match at the London 2012 Olympics.
On both occasions the teams competing were Japan and the United States, with the former prevailing at the World Cup and the latter at the Olympics.