Israel, only applause at debut of first transgender referee

Sapir Berman welcomed by applause of local football federation

04 May, 15:22

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, 04 MAG - Sapir Berman made history on Monday night as Israel's first transgender football referee, taking the field for the match between Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Haifa.

    Berman came out as a woman at the end of April and until recently was known by the male name Sagi.

    She was greeted on the field with a tweet from the Israeli Football Federation, which said it was "proud to undertake with her the first step of this long and wonderful journey".

    Berman, 26, has been one of the top referees for Israeli Premier League football for some time.

    In the press conference to announce her gender change, she said she "always felt like a woman, from a young age".

    She also said players had already started referring to her by the female form of her name.

    Outside the stadium in Haifa, where Hapoel Haifa won the match 3-1, Israeli media reported that a fan held a sign reading "Berman super woman, incredible and great". (ANSAmed).

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