Bundesliga signs up first woman referee for next season

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Beginning next year, however, she'll step into the main role, becoming the league's first female referee to take charge on the field.

Bibiana Steinhaus has been appointed as the first female referee in the Bundesliga.

Until now, Steinhaus has been refereeing in Germany's second division - the 2.

Also a police officer, she has worldwide 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.

Bibiana Steinhaus has officiated men's soccer matches before in Germany's top-flight Bundesliga, but always as an assistant on the sidelines. And now, Steinhaus has made history with her promotion to the German top flight.

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"I was quite speechless when I got the call".

In an interview published on the German soccer federation's website, Steinhaus says she feels "disbelief, delight, joy, relief, curiosity". It was simply a turbulent roller coaster ride of emotions.

She has also worked in the second division of the Bundesliga for a decade. That this dream will come true naturally fills me with joy. "I'm very much looking forward to the task that awaits me", Steinhaus told BBC Sport.

"I would hope that the current developments will also have a positive impact on newcomers [female referees], or those who want to become one".

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