FIFA Women's World Cup Final 2011: Steinhaus (GER)

As a policewoman and Germany's first female referee in the men's professional football league, Bibiana Steinhaus is used to maintaining order. She is a tough person to reach this week. Punch her number into your phone and the best you're likely to get is her voicemail: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you can't afford one, then please leave a message after the tone." Steinhaus' voicemail greeting is fitting given her professions. Both as a police officer and as a professional soccer referee, her responsibility is to "monitor and ensure that rules and laws are being obeyed, and that people aren't trying to make them themselves", she told Spiegel.
At just 32, Steinhaus has been involved in football for much of her life. As a girl, she says, she was "almost talentless" on the pitch as a defender. At 16, she decided to stick with the sport, but instead of continuing as a player she became a referee. First, she blew the whistle in matches in her hometown in Germany's Harz region. Later, she refereed in the women's regional league, and in 2007 she became the first female referee in the second tier of Germany's professional football league, the Bundesliga. Steinhaus now has her sights set even higher. After finishing high school, the "First Lady" of German referees, as Steinhaus is often called, completed training to become a police officer. As a member of the police force, her assignments have often been for events that make as many headlines as the Women's World Cup, such as ensuring public order as nuclear waste is transported across Germany or at the 2007 G-8 summit at Heligendamm. Steinhaus is still a police commissioner in the state of Lower Saxony, and she even had to put in overtime so she could get enough time off to referee at the Women's World Cup. She doesn't like to discuss her double life as a police officer and a referee because she wants to ensure that she always comes across as neutral, and does not want to open herself up to criticism. She has in the past, however, drawn some parallels between the two careers. "You have to acquire expertise, internalize it and use it in accordance with the law and make decisions". (Source: Spiegel)

Bibiana Steinhaus took up refereeing in 1995 and became a FIFA Referee in 2005. She participated in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cups 2008 (Chile) and 2010 (Germany), as well as the UEFA Women's Euro 2009 in England. Steinhaus was voted Germany's Woman Referee of the Year in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011.

17 July 2011
Japan – USA
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Katrin Rafalski (GER)
Fourth Official: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)