Bibiana Steinhaus and Dr. Felix Brych voted World Referees of the Year 2017
Bibiana Steinhaus and Dr. Felix Brych have been named World Referees of the Year for 2017, as voted for by the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics).
It is the third time Steinhaus – the first female referee in Bundesliga history – has won the women’s award, but it is Brych’s first in the male category. He is the third German referee to receive the prize, after Aaron Schmidhuber (1992) and Markus Merk (2004, 2005 and 2007).
Watch: Steinhaus on her place in Bundesliga history
“It’s pretty special to be voted the world’s best female referee for a third time,” said 38-year-old Steinhaus, who refereed the 2017 UEFA Women’s Champions League final. “This accolade caps a perfect year for me, after I fulfilled my personal dream of refereeing in the Bundesliga.”
Steinhaus, a Hannover-born policewoman, made her full Bundesliga debut as a referee in Hertha Berlin’s 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen on 10 September. She has overseen two German top-flight matches since.
Brych, by comparison, is a veritable Bundesliga veteran, having officiated 240 games at Germany’s top table. The 42-year-old was also placed in charge of last season’s UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus.
Watch: Who is Dr. Felix Brych?
“Honestly, I can hardly believe my luck when I think of everything I’ve experienced,” the Munich native said. “I’m just delighted to receive this recognition.”