Bibiana Steinhaus has successfully retained the title of World’s Best Woman Referee for 2018. The decision was made by experts and media representatives from 90 different countries, as announced by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). Having already won the award in 2013, 2014 and 2017, Bibiana Steinhaus has now been named World’s Best Woman Referee for the fourth time in her career - a remarkable achievement for her and the DFB.
The award for World’s Best Woman Referee was introduced in 2012, and since then only Steinhaus has won multiple times. After Swedish match official Jenny Palmqvist won the inaugural award in 2012, Steinhaus was honoured at the end of both of the following years. In 2015 and 2016, Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine) and Katalin Kulcsar (Hungary) were named the world’s best respectively, before Steinhaus won her third in 2017 and now her fourth in 2018.
The DFB’s vice president, Ronny Zimmermann, responsible for the association’s referees, has expressed his delight about Steinhaus’ achievement: "To be named World’s Best Woman Referee four times is not only remarkably unique, but can hardly be put into words. We can only join Bibiana Steinhaus in being happy about the award and congratulate her on an already extraordinary career. Winning the award again and again epitomises her exceptional position among referees."
For Steinhaus, who became the first ever woman to officiate a game in one of Europe’s top men’s leagues last season, winning the fourth such award was by no means a solo effort: "I am unbelievably grateful for the positive feedback and would like to share this award with all the people who push me week in week out, who accompany me, who coach me and deal with me. For all this support, I would like to say thank you!"
Dr. Felix Brych, who was crowned World’s Best Referee of the Year in 2017 alongside Bibiana Steinhaus, was ranked fourth place this year by the international panel of experts and media representatives. Ahead of him were Milorad Mazic (Serbia), Björn Kuipers (Netherlands) and 2018’s winner Nestor Pitana (Argentina), who officiated the World Cup final in Russia.