Bibiana Steinhaus: Woman in Authority

Jun 8, 2020

Life Stories

Bibiana Steinhaus

Beginnings

Bibiana Steinhaus was born in 1979. She played football for SV Bad Lauterberg and took up refereeing at the age of 15. Her father was a referee. By 2001 Bibiana was an official in the Regionalliga; by 2007 she was the first female referee in men’s professional football in Germany.

Breaking the Mould

Bibiana Steinhaus became the leading referee in women’s football, chosen for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and UEFA Nations Cup in 2009, Women’s World Cup in 2011, Olympic Games in 2012. Bibiana reached the Bundesliga in 2017, refereeing Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen. Outside football, Bibiana trained as a police officer, rising to be Chief Inspector. Her partner since 2016 (English World Cup referee Howard Webb) is also a police officer.

Controversy and Impact

Bibiana Steinhaus faced a lot of abuse: from football crowds, on social media, and within the game. In 2014, as the fourth official, she had a confrontation with Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola. She was subjected to sexist insults by a Dusseldorf player Kerem Demirbay (who was fined and had to referee girls football as part of the sentence) after issuing a second yellow card. In 2019, Iranian State TV cancelled its coverage of a Bundesliga match because she was the referee.

Thinking points

Bibiana Steinhaus is a high-profile referee in women’s football; her partner, Howard Webb was a high-profile referee in the men’s game.

Educators could look at the life story of Bibiana Steinhaus and work with young people to consider these questions:

  1. How difficult is it to be a woman controlling high-pressure matches in men’s football watched by huge crowds and with intense media coverage?
  2. How might the career of Bibiana Steinhaus contribute to equality for women?

Find out more

To find out more about Bibiana Steinhaus look at this interview with her. She also gave more insights in this interview. To read more about Iran Controversy. This video is also very interesting and see how Bibiana Steinhaus prepares herself for a match.

COVER Image

Bibiana Steinhaus Woman in charge, 2008 (Wikimedia Commons)

Bibiana Steinhaus Woman in charge, 2008 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).

Life Story

Bibiana Steinhaus was the first female referee in men’s professional football in Germany. Her story is about inclusion and diversity.

14

Article Tags:   discrimination  |   diversity  |   gender history  |   pioneers

Do you wanna know more?

HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS

Stories

Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.

Videos

Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.

Educational Resources

Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.

Trending Stories

The Climb to Equality

The Climb to Equality

Football Makes History spoke with Laura Youngson, co-founder of Equal Playing Field and co-owner of the world record for highest altitude official football match ever played. This is the story of why we wanted to retell this story, and how we did it....

LATEST POST  You may also be interested in

Playing the game for peace

Playing the game for peace

On this day, 21 September, we look at how playing a game of football can contribute to peace by looking at the work of the NGO Childrens Football Alliance.

September in Football

September in Football

As the UEFA 2020 European Championships got pushed ahead one year, we provide you with a 365-day #onthisday series of posts to help all fans out there to go back in time, think, and reflect.

Football speaking out in perspective

Football speaking out in perspective

Football represents a large cultural space in society. It is not isolated from political developments. How have football players used this space to achieve their social goals?

August in Football

August in Football

As the UEFA 2020 European Championships got pushed ahead one year, the team of Football Makes History will provide you with a 365-day #onthisday series of posts to help all fans out there to go back in time, think, and reflect.

Share This