September 10, 2017 / 4:08 PM / 14 days ago

Steinhaus becomes Bundeliga's first female ref

Soccer Football - Hertha BSC Berlin vs SV Werder Bremen- Berlin, Germany - September 10, 2017 Referee Bibiana Steinhaus before the match REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bibiana Steinhaus enjoyed a debut free of major incidents as she became the first woman to referee a Bundesliga match in the 1-1 draw between Hertha Berlin and Werder Bremen on Sunday.

A second-half strike from Thomas Delaney gave Bremen their first goal and point of the season in a match which produced one yellow card and no sendings-off or controversial penalty incidents.

Steinhaus, a 38-year-old police officer, has been a German FA referee since 1999 and taken charge of 80 second division matches since 2007.

“To be honest, I am relieved that it is all over and I will be delighted when normality returns from Monday,” she said. “I was really able to enjoy it here with my team.”

German FA president Reinhard Grindel described it as “certainly a historic moment.”

“To make all the right decisions so confidently, it was certainly a first-class performance,” he added.

Soccer Football - Hertha BSC Berlin vs SV Werder Bremen- Berlin, Germany - September 10, 2017 Referee Bibiana Steinhaus REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp said: “She did well, although that is no surprise.”

Werder coach Alexander Nouri added: “I’ve said before that it doesn’t matter whether a man or a woman is refereeing. It’s the performance that counts and that was okay.”

Slideshow (3 Images)

In 2015, Kerem Demirbay, playing for Fortuna Duesseldorf at the time, was banned for five weeks for making a sexist remark after he was sent off in a second division game by Steinhaus, who mentioned the remark in her match report.

Hertha went ahead in the 38th minute when Vladimir Darida was bundled over, but the referee played the advantage and Mathew Leckie lashed home the loose ball.

Werder, somewhat unlucky to be behind, levelled in the 59th minute when Delaney rifled home from the edge of the penalty area.

Schalke 04 made it two wins in their first three matches when they beat promoted VfB Stuttgart 3-1 in the later game.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Toby Davis and Ian Chadband

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