HAIFA, Israel (AP) – Israeli soccer’s first transgenderreferee took the field Monday for the first time since coming out publicly as a woman last week.
blew the whistle as head referee to kick off the Hapoel vs. Beitar Jerusalem match.
She was greeted with little fanfare by the sparse crowd at Sami Ofer Stadium. Afan held up a sign “Sapir super woman.”
In pre-game warmups and during the match, it was business as usual for the players. Some chatted and laughed with her before kickoff. Beitar Jerusalem fan Omer Weiss told Israel’s Kan public broadcaster that “we have nothing personal against anyone. Everyone should live their own way.”
Monday evening’s game in the northern port city ofhad been postponed by a day after Israel declared Sunday a national day of mourning for the 45 people killed in last week’s stampede at a religious festival.
has worked as a referee for several years in Israel’s Premier League and announced last week that she has publicly come out as a woman. She said that she had received the support of family, fans, officials and players.
follows in the footsteps of British soccer referee Lucy Clark, who came out as transgender in 2018.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.