Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First match for Israel transgender top-flight football referee

First match for Israel transgender top-flight football referee

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Israeli football referee Sapir Berman (L) gestures with the whistle during the Israeli Premier League match between Hapoel Haifa and Beitar Jerusalem on Monday. JACK GUEZ / AFP

First match for Israel transgender top-flight football referee

Sapir Berman, the Israeli premier league's first transgender football referee, presided Monday over her first top-flight game since coming out as a woman.

Berman announced late last month that she had changed her name from Sagi to Sapir and identified as a woman.

The move made the 26-year-old, who has been refereeing in Israel's premier league since 2011, the league's first transgender referee.

Berman took to the field on Monday at Haifa's Sammy Ofer stadium to a mixture of applause and whistles.

One supporter held a sign reading, "Sapir, we are all with you".

Hapoel Haifa won the match 3-1 against Beitar Jerusalem.

"I do not know if I am a pioneer or the first (referee) to do that -- I am going through this process for me," Berman said last month.

She said she had received threats on social media but also support, including from colleagues.

Ronit Tirosh, head of the Israeli referees' union, called Berman "courageous" and said she had started "a historic process for Israeli football".

Israel is seen as progressive in promoting LGBTQI equality.

The Middle Eastern country recognises gay marriages performed abroad, but homosexuality remains a taboo in religious Jewish circles.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of