Referee Bibiana Steinhaus argues with Hertha Berlin 's midfielder Alexander Esswein and Werder Bremen 's midfielder Maximilian Eggestein during the German first division Bundesliga football match on September 10 in Berlin, Germany. -AFP
Germany's Bibiana Steinhaus made history on Sunday as the first female referee to officiate a match in a top European league by taking charge of Hertha Berlin's 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen. Steinhaus became the first woman to referee a top-tier match in the German, English, French, Italian or Spanish leagues when she oversaw the Bundesliga encounter in Berlin.
The 38-year-old had built up a wealth of experience by refereeing 80 second-division games since 2007 and was the fourth official on numerous occasions in the Bundesliga, but this was her refereeing debut in the top flight. "I'll be delighted when normality returns as of tomorrow," said Steinhaus after a busy week amidst intense media attention.
To mark the occasion, Hertha offered half-price tickets to female supporters who wanted to see Steinhaus in charge. She kept tight control at the Olympic Stadium and fulfilled her pre-match wish that her performance would not attract headlines for the wrong reasons.
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