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Last Updated Saturday November 18 2017 07:35 PM IST

Bundesliga signs up first woman referee for next season

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Bibiana Steinhaus Bibiana Steinhaus of Germany officiates in the women's final soccer match featuring the U.S. against Japan at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London at Wembley Stadium, August 9, 2012. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/Files

Berlin: A 38-year-old police officer will become the first woman to referee a top-flight football match in Germany next season after being promoted to the Bundesliga, the country's football association (DFB) said on Friday.

Bibiana Steinhaus has been a German FA referee since 1999 and taken charge of 80 second division matches since 2007.

She also officiated during the 2011 and 2015 women's World Cups and the 2012 London Olympics, and will referee the women's Champions League final in Cardiff on June 1.

"For every referee, male or female, it is the goal to officiate in the Bundesliga," said Steinhaus, who is being promoted with three male colleagues, in a statement.

"I worked towards that in the past years and had to also suffer some setbacks. That is why I am happy about the trust the referee commission has shown."

German FA president Reinhard Grindel said he hoped Steinhaus would not be the last woman to referee in the top league. "Hopefully (she)... will motivate many young girls in our country to imitate her," he said.

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