In a first for women, Bibiana Steinhaus will officiate the DFL-Supercup between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund tonight. But it is a sad occasion, as well: the veteran referee, consistently rated among the very best in the Bundesliga, has also suddenly announced the decision to end her career. In a statement released by the DFB, Steinhaus said,
“Like many people during the corona situation, I have reflected and reassessed some things. After a very truthful and constructive conversation with Lutz Michael Fröhlich, the sporting director of the DFB-Elite Referees, after carefully weighing many factors, I have decided to end my national and international career as referee. For this evening, I want the focus to be entirely on the game. I will discuss the reasons for my retirement in somewhat greater detail in due time.”
Fritz Keller, the president of the DFB, said in a statement:
“I regret the premature retirement of Bibiana Steinhaus very much. In the future, German football will not only have to go without an outstanding referee, but also is losing an extraordinary personality and pioneer in a men’s domain. I hope very much, nonetheless, that many other female referees will enrich both professional and amateur football. Bibiana Steinhaus will remain a role-model. I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for this extraordinary achievement as well as for her athletic successes.”
Whatever the reasons for Steinhaus’s decision, we at BFW wish her the very best. We are agreed that she has been simply outstanding and are sorry to see her go.