“This is the first step in a long and wonderful journey. Sapir, we are proud to do it with you,” the Israel Football Association tweeted as she took the sphere for the competition between Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Haifa.

At a information convention final Tuesday wherein she publicly introduced her transition, Berman, at 26 already a high referee in Israel’s main soccer league, mentioned she had all the time seen herself as a feminine, even at a younger age.

She advised reporters that gamers had already begun utilizing the female type of phrases in Hebrew when addressing her.

“They really feel that they want to somehow take part in this process and even speak to men when it’s not necessary and speak to me as a woman. So thank you,” Berman mentioned.

Outside the stadium within the northern metropolis of Haifa, one fan carried a banner that hailed Berman as a “super woman, incredible, brave”.

Berman will not be the primary transgender referee within the soccer world. A British soccer referee, Lucy Clark, got here out as transgender in 2018.

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