‘Bibi’ of the Bundesliga blows whistle on sexism in German football

Bibiana Steinhaus’s appointment as a top-flight referee has been likened to Angela Merkel becoming chancellor in 2005

Bibiana Steinhaus officiates at the league match between MSV Duisburg and FSV Zwickau last Saturday in Duisburg. Photograph: Joachim Sielski/Bongarts/Getty Images

The appointment of a woman as a top-flight referee in Germany has been hailed as a breakthrough for equality domestically and a milestone for football.

Bibiana Steinhaus has become an overnight celebrity since the announcement by the German football federation’s referee commission that she will take charge of games in the Bundesliga next season. The same organisation banned women from playing football as recently as the 1950s.


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