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Bundesliga appoints Bibiana Steinhaus as first female referee in its history

Bibiana Steinhausis one of four new Bundesliga officials next season.

Bibiana Steinhaus will become the first female referee in Bundesliga history next season.

Steinhaus is one of four new referees in Germany's top flight next season announced by the German FA (DFB) on Friday.

Having officiated 80 matches in the second tier over the past decade, the 38-year-old, who referees the UEFA Women's Champions League final on June 1, now makes the step up.

And she told the official DFB website: "It's the big goal for everyone, no matter whether man or woman, to officiate in the Bundesliga.

"I've worked incredibly hard for it over the past few years, and also had a few setbacks."

Steinhaus said she was aware she would be in the spotlight but added: "I am accustomed to that pressure, and I am convinced that I will gain a foothold in the Bundesliga soon."

DFB president Reinhard Grindel said: "Hopefully the first female referee in the Bundesliga is an incentive for many young girls in this country to try to emulate her."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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