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

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,