In 30 minutes, the German Bibiana Steinhaus will blow the whistle in USA's first match at the competition. Her permanent lines(wo)men Marina Wozniak and Katrin Rafalski will naturally accompany her in Dresden. Probably, Steinhaus is the most experienced referee at this World Cup, along with Kari Seitz.
Impressive career path
Born in Bad Lauterbach in the beautiful Harz Mountains in 1979, she followed her father's path and became referee in 1995. Since that point, her career did not stop rising. At first, he had only to absolve two years in women's Bundesliga, before she moved up into male football in 2001. In 2003 she whistled the female DFB Cup final and only two years later, she got the FIFA badge in women's football.
Then - in 2007 - she moved up into 2nd Bundesliga. This promotion led to some turmoil à la "How can a woman, who in general does not understand anything of football, move up into male professional football?!" How often had one to bear such stupid comments. However, she confirmed this promotion and the ones who had doubts remained silently...
A few weeks ago, some trouble came up about Steinhaus as e.g. Steffi Jones, LOC member, argued the case for a promotion of Bibiana into German Bundesliga. Many others supported Jones. One has to take her last season's appointments into consideration. Many important matches in 2nd Bundesliga, matches that were important for teams moving up and down (e.g. Augsburg vs. Bochum). A very funny thing about her insets in 2nd Bundesliga is the fact that - without any doubt - the players behave in another way to the referee. It is a huge difference whether it is Steinhaus or e.g. Winkmann.That's why this suggestion of Jones did not seem to be that wrong but it was pretty reasonable. Herbert Fandel however, head of DFB's referee comitee, was not influenced by all this. He said that no referee in 2nd Bundesliga deserved a promotion, Steinhaus either. How can one publish that 4 days ahead her first match? But as one knows her, he will not be influenced, he is a pro and that with only 32 years.
On July 15, she was appointed to referee the final of FIFA WWC 2011.
Note: a nice interview with her can be found here (in German)